Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Building a Budget Trauma Kit"--SkinnyMedic (5 min.)
The author specifically notes the need for such kits on a farm. I suspect most people would be shocked at the number of traumatic injuries that happen on farms: crush injuries due to equipment falling on limbs or equipment overturning, degloving injuries from hands being caught between rollers, gears or belts, or even whole limbs being ripped off when caught in equipment.

        If a full emergency-preparedness kit isn't handy — say, if you were on public transit to or from work — Buddemeier recommends trying to grab a few items, just as long as it wouldn't delay your taking shelter from fallout by more than a couple of minutes.
           Item No. 1 is a radio, he said — ideally a hand-cranked type with a USB charging port that can power other devices. "If you have a cellphone, that'll work too," he said.
              Buddemeier said he preferred a radio over a mobile phone because "sometimes the cell towers may be affected," either by power outages, crushing demand, or an invisible yet powerful effect of nuclear weapons called electromagnetic pulse. (The effect can disable electronics, though a ground detonation would mostly confine EMP to the blast damage zone, where you'd have much bigger problems.)
                He says a radio is important because you need to receive emergency broadcasts and instructions. It's one of the simplest ways to figure out where dangerous fallout has landed, when you can leave your shelter, and where the safest routes to exit a fallout zone are.
                 Second, Buddemeier says, you'll want water — ideally 1 gallon per person per day, according to In addition to drinking it, you may need it to rinse off any radioactive fallout after removing your clothes, since this can drastically reduce your radiation exposure.
                   Third, Buddemeier said, "I would probably grab a breakfast bar or two to stave off the hunger a little bit." Fourth, he says to grab any essential medications or treatments you might need.
                      Buddemeier says there's a risk in trying to gather too much stuff, since the first minutes and hours after a blast are when radioactive fallout exposure risk is the greatest — especially outdoors.
                        One thing he definitely does not recommend stressing about immediately after a blast is potassium iodine pills, which wouldn't be very useful in the next 48 hours.
                The gallon per day is too little in most cases, and certainly if you are going to have to use some of that water to decontaminate yourself. Three gallons a day per person is the minimum recommended if you are going to be active and to supply water for basic hygiene. This is a situation in particular where a disposable tarp and dust mask would be helpful to not breath in radioactive contaminated particles, or allow them to touch your skin. Remember that children will receive an overall higher dosage because they are shorter and, therefore, exposed to a higher dosage per unit area than adults. They are more likely to breath in dust that is kicked up. If you can carry children on your shoulders, that is best.
                •  "Two Security Tools You May Want to Check Out"--The Order of the White Rose. The two are: (1) Forgiva, an open-source password manager, and (2)  Bitquick, which is a supposed to make it easier to engage in anonymous Bitcoin exchanges. 
                • "Recovering from the Storms Within"--FEMA. This article notes that the emotional or psychological harm caused by a disaster may last longer than the physical damage. From the post:
                       Long after the skies have cleared, what remains are the storms within – the lasting psychological impact of disasters on individuals, families, and communities. Disasters can be traumatic experiences that take a toll on the emotional well-being of survivors, even if they aren’t hurt physically.
                         Immediate reactions like shock can turn into numbness and denial, which may then give way to anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, and despair. People may have lost their loved ones, their homes, and cherished keepsakes like family photos. An entire lifetime of memories can be swept away by a single storm. With these losses come grief, feelings of powerlessness, and other intense, unpredictable emotions.
                           Some individuals report feeling guilty for surviving when others did not. Many also express fear and anxiety about the future. The physical, emotional, and financial burdens caused by disasters can generate high levels of stress, which have the potential to then manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and stomach pains.
                             Other common symptoms of trauma include trouble concentrating and making decisions, difficulty sleeping, and changes in appetite. People who feel overwhelmed by these experiences may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse or other harmful behaviors.
                                While these emotional effects of disasters are much harder to capture on camera or quantify in reports, they are every bit as real as the physical wreckage. It’s vital to address mental health as part of the recovery process ....
                               One of the dramatic things that happened last year was the arrest, then escape, re-arrest and extradition of [Joaquín] “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States. It’s quite interesting that homicides didn’t actually go up when he was arrested; it was after he escaped and then was re-arrested that homicides went up dramatically. The thinking there is that he maintained control of his criminal network during his initial arrest, but was losing control after his re-arrest and extradition, leading to renewed internal competition between factions of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of which is led by his own son, and another by the son of another leader of a criminal organization. The second factor is that in the midst of the instability within the Sinaloa Cartel, another major criminal organization – the Cartel de Jalisco Nuevo Generación – has started to challenge the Sinaloa organization for control of different areas, creating more violence.
                                  The third element is that we see some shifts in the drug market in the United States. We see more and more demand for heroin. Roughly 80 percent of heroine supplied to the U.S. now comes from Mexico. We’ve seen a real uptick in methamphetamine trafficking with laboratories in the Sinaloa and Colima area. Colima is the smallest state by population in Mexico and yet last year had the highest homicide rate. What is that about? Part of it is that it includes the port city of Mazatlán, which is the largest commercial port. There’s a huge amount of precursor chemicals coming through Mazatlán and the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, and roads from these major port cities join up in Colima on the way to Guadalajara and north to the U.S. border converting Colima into a battleground. So the simple answer is that the increase in homicides is due, in part, to the shifting criminal landscape.
                                    And then you have a place like Veracruz that’s experiencing an extreme uptick in violence right now, and that’s partly because there’s a vacuum of any kind of leadership there – criminal or political – because that’s one of the states where an apparently very corrupt governor [former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte] cut deals with criminal organizations while also allegedly pillaging the state coffers. He fled but was eventually found in Guatemala, and Mexico is seeking his extradition.  
                            • "The crisis in America’s crime labs" by Michelle Malkin. There is a lot of corruption and incompetence in crime labs relied on to obtain criminal convictions, which instead of being punished and corrected, are mostly being covered up. As the author notes, "[f]orensic junk science in the hands of overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless experts threatens liberty." Read the whole thing.
                            • Climate science hoaxes: "Dadaist Science"--The Weekly Standard. It starts out with this piece of misinformation by Stephen Hawking that would have made Stalin proud:
                                     Earlier this month Stephen Hawking declared: “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action [withdrawing from the Paris climate accord] could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees [Celsius], and raining sulphuric acid.”
                                       Let’s unpack this a bit, using actual science. The proportion of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is currently about 400 parts per million (ppm). The Cambrian explosion—when most animal lineages first appeared—occurred a little more than 500 million years ago when, according to all estimates, carbon dioxide levels were several times higher than today. The atmosphere of Venus is 965,000 ppm carbon dioxide, enveloped in clouds of sulfuric acid. And Venus itself is almost 26 million miles closer to the sun than Earth.
                                          So Hawking’s claim that the earth is on the “brink” of becoming like Venus is preposterous. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change explicitly notes that the Earth will not experience a runaway greenhouse effect such as might have occurred on Venus.

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