Some cans of Sterno, some matches, water, and some freezed-dried food, and you can eat like a king for a fairly long time when the power and gas goes out.
I don't disagree with you or any of your preparations, nor do I disagree with the idea of having weapons for personal defense. I'm quite in favor of the idea, as a matter of fact. But I see them as only basic tools for that purpose, in general, and not specifically as a must-have item in a major collapse of civilization. If that collapse happens, guns will be more useful for hunting for food than defense. I don't see the threat of criminals being particularly greater in that situation than in daily life. By all means, be prepared to defend yourself in daily life, and remain vigilant always.
All too often, it seems, people arm themselves for the apocalypse as if every other human on the planet is instantly going to become a mortal enemy intent on murdering you and taking all your stuff. That's just not realistic or in keeping with basic human nature. I'm definitely not an idealist, but I know that people generally will choose to work together to survive, rather than try to go alone. If you choose to be armed, do it for all the regular reasons, not the extreme ones.
Ultimately skills and knowledge are more important than specific tools or supplies. I have emergency medical training, for example, and I wouldn't trade that for a gallon of water or a box of ammo. Chances are my knowledge and skills learned as an EMT are going to come in handy a lot more often than a #10 can of beans. Matches get used up, the knowledge and experience starting fires without them never does. Guns are very useful tools, so are fire extinguishers and chewable aspirin (for heart attacks). Even if I don't have those tools on hand in an emergency, I still try to be aware of my surroundings, take steps to avoid fires, and I know how to perform CPR.
True preparation for a disaster is not what stuff you have stashed someplace, it's a state of mind and knowledge acquired, things that don't run out after an extended period. Obviously something as basic as water is essential for short-term survival, but even stores of that run out, so it's better to know how to find and purify water so you can keep getting more long after the people with gallons in their basement run out. It's also worth considering that skills remain useful when you're away from your home when disaster strikes. A stockpile you can't get to or is destroyed in the disaster is worthless.
That's not to say I don't stockpile, to a reasonable degree. But for me that's more a matter of convenience than necessity. I certainly don't want to have to start boiling water or hunting animals for food on the very first day of a disaster. I'd rather just hang out in relative comfort with light, heat, food, and water that I didn't have to work hard for.
For those of you (like me) in snowy climates, how prepared are you for getting stranded on a highway in a heavy blizzard, or stuck in a snow bank on a mountain? Gas will run out fairly quick, and help isn't coming until the 100 cars ahead of you are dug out of the snow.
I have blankets and a bit of food and water stashed in my car for just such an emergency, which seems much more likely than the apocalypse, at least around here. I've also got some emergency lights if I need to get any attention. I figure 24 hours is fairly doable, 48 hours is survivable. I would not want to go much longer than that.
My biggest concern here I think would be a big winter storm. I figure I only need to last a week at most entirely without support or power, and I think I'll be just fine. I'd run out of water first, but I figure I can always boil some snow and I live near water anyway. I am prepared to survive very cold weather when the power goes out, and I've got plenty of food stores (camping supplies plus a wide range of ingredients on hand that adds up). I believe I could be rather comfortable without power in the winter for a week, easy. After that, things would get more difficult, but I'm sure I could survive for several more weeks before I was in serious life-threatening danger. I think internet withdrawal would be the primary stress in my life during that time, but I would have light and plenty of books for weeks and weeks. As long as the power came on again after about two weeks, and the roads cleared up within a month, I am confident a big winter storm would be only an inconvenience to me. In terms of pure survival though, I'd live long enough for spring to come around and the snow melting. After that, I can always drive someplace.
I'm not worried about a major economic collapse or anarchy or alien invasion or anything else like that. If that day ever comes, I figure that my intelligence, street smarts, temperament, and survival skills will matter a lot more than anything I could possibly stockpile. Anyone who thinks they are truly prepared for the collapse of human civilization is kidding themselves, unless they already live without any contact with human civilization (and hint: that means none of you). Best you can hope for is a bit of luck, and the ability to work with other people to rebuild civilization. At our core, humans tend toward forming communities. Disagreements within and between those communities is natural too, but even when everything goes to shit people are not going to start murdering each other when they have the option to pool their resources and accomplish things they can't do alone. Feel free to call me naive, but there's a reason why humans formed civilizations to begin with instead of having endless war between family groups. For long-term survival, energy is better spent on activities allowed by peace than on constant fighting. Charisma is likely far more important to survival than a machine gun and limitless ammo. Humans were never the fastest, had the biggest teeth or claws, or the strongest animals around. Our greatest survival trait was our ability to work together in the face of whatever dangers lurked around us.
By all means stockpile a bunch of ammo and buy some guns. They're good tools just like anything else. Unless you're prepared to murder your neighbors in cold blood at the outset of a disaster, though, you're a lot more likely to use them for hunting with other people than for defending a stockpile nobody's really going to come for. After a few years when the ammo runs out, you're probably going to wish you'd learned how to make traps and make good arrows for a bow, though. Tools are good, skills are better. Nobody can steal skills, and skills are always needed by your fellow humans in the community. Trade your services, live off the land, and work together with your neighbors. Isn't that much better than paranoia and an finite quantity of modern weaponry?
So yeah, I'm really only worried about natural disasters, and the most likely are the ones I'm sure I can survive easily in relative comfort. I've got heat, water, and food enough to last plenty of time.
Just because the standard sucks doesn't mean a company should tolerate it. If younger more capable workers are able to do the job for less pay, and an old timer is dragging down the bottom line and not doing his job (and worse, making other people's jobs harder), of course a company is going to go with the "younger, faster, more curious people" who can accomplish the job they need to do.
If those older workers have useful knowledge and skills that are still relevant to somebody, they will find another job. Lots of companies with aging mainframes are looking for people who know languages and systems that nobody learns anymore, and they're willing to pay to get that expertise. If those older workers don't have useful knowledge and skills, why do they deserve employment at all?
I'm not parent, but, I've got 387 tabs open on 7 windows. I also have another two or three windows open on my laptop with another couple hundred or so, also on my desk. No crashes of freezes in weeks. I hardly ever reboot my computers, and that's the only time I ever close my browser (and when I open it again, I open all my old tabs too). Browser is perfectly stable. Things only get bad around the 500 mark. Safari on OS X, FYI.
I periodically go through and trim things down, bookmark stuff I want to get back to later, eliminate duplicate tabs, and close stuff I am no longer interested in. That usually gets me down to about 140-180 tabs. I find it's extremely difficult to drop below 160 tabs, most of the time. A lot of pages I reference if not daily, then at least several times a week, and it's nice to have them open already in set tab locations rather than having to find a bookmark over and over again. I use windows to separate specific categories of pages (topics or a particular site), and the number of windows I have open tends to stay between 5 and 8.
While it's true, I might be better off using a reading list of some kind, as long as my browser is stable and I've got the RAM, why not have that many tabs open?
One benefit to the wars we've been fighting, is the advancement of trauma-related medical technology. So many soldiers are surviving injuries that would have killed them in previous generations, leaving them with missing limbs instead. This in turn is advancing prosthetic technology quite a bit.
I expect that we'll see some really great prosthetics on the market over the next couple decades that will put existing ones to shame. Whatever prosthetic this family member gets in the immediate future, she'll probably be able to upgrade to something that improves her quality of life dramatically fairly soon regardless.
I could not agree more. Colonization of space should be our highest priority as a species. I think people are focusing too much on the reality TV thing. This isn't American Idol or whatever, nor are they sending all 78,000 people.
Somewhere in that 78,000 (and rising) will be enough applicants who will be quite capable of carrying out the mission. They'll have the right temperament, intelligence, and ability to complete the extensive training that they'll be given and carry out the mission. All they're doing right now are looking for volunteers. This is just the first phase. Thousands apply to be astronauts at NASA every year, too. I'm sure plenty of them are not very qualified, and those are the ones who wash out.
As for using reality TV to fund it, I don't see why that matters. All they're doing is making a documentary of the process and the mission, and then selling that to an interested audience. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm rather interested. If they want to slap some corporate logos on the side of the rocket too, they should feel free. Whatever works to fund the thing, who cares?
At a time when governments around the world seem more interested in robots and low Earth orbit than in actual human exploration of our universe, we should be thrilled with the prospect of a one-way trip to Mars. While I won't be volunteering, I salute anyone who's willing to make the trip.
Is $6 billion enough money? I don't really know. I don't think any of the naysayers know either. There may very well be cost overruns, once they've done more work. That's usually how things go. $6 billion is likely just what their goal is. What I do know is that they don't have the same kind of requirements as a NASA mission, let's say. It costs a heck of a lot more to return from Mars than it does to simply land and survive on it. Mars has gravity and an atmosphere, which means the lander would have to be significantly larger than a one-way lander. Then there's the matter of returning to Earth from Mars, not a very cheap prospect. All that means a smaller, cheaper rocket to get to Mars to begin with.
There's also very little new science and engineering that needs to be done, for a mission like this. Landing a manned craft on Mars will be the hardest part, due to the atmosphere and gravity. We already know how to get to Mars with a crew and create a self-sustaining environment there, we've just never bothered to spend the money to do it yet. We just have to build all the parts and put them together, then select and train a few individuals to do the mission. Nearly all of the problems have already been solved, and will not require huge amounts of expensive research. This project is standing on the shoulders of giants.
Yes, these people are signing up to die on Mars. So? That's kind of the point, to see how long they can survive. It doesn't really matter how long they last, it will have been worth it to them to have just made it farther out into the solar system than any human ever has before. I can understand why some people would not choose to volunteer for this, but don't assume that just because YOU don't see the point, that there's not plenty who do. Some may want to be famous, to get their names in the history books. Some may want to see what they're made of, to prove something to themselves. Some may want to be there for scientific reasons, to conduct experiments on Mars, or study the geology, to write papers to email back to Earth for publishing in journals. Some may just want to see with their own eyes another world, and have a story to tell. I think all of those reasons are perfectly valid, and if they're willing to risk their lives, to choose what planet they want to die on, I don't think any of us have a right to say they shouldn't do it. We should celebrate these people. They are cut from the same cloth as so many other past explorers. You think Christopher Columbus wasn't told he'd die at sea? Humans have always been risk-takers, always wanting to see what's over the next hill, or across the oceans. Space is just the next frontier. Our choice is to either stagnate here on Earth, where all of us will die, or try to colonize other worlds, regardless of the risk, and save our species from extinction.
Let's not rush to judgement about the Mars One project. They have ten years to prove what they can do. Just because they aren't showing off blueprints yet doesn't mean it can't be done. A lot can happen in ten years. Even if this does eventually fail, they will likely advance the cause considerably. It's one thing to be skeptical, it's another to be defeatist.
Same. I watched and read a lot of news on Monday, and then watched and read a lot of news on Friday. Along the way I learned of the FBI releasing photos, and some general information about the types of bombs used. But generally I ignored the media. In other words, the information I absorbed was only official information during actual events and not wild speculation from talking heads or any of the pornographic exploitation of the victims meant to get ratings.
All food is GMO. We've been doing artificial selection on our food sources since the Agricultural Revolution many thousands of years ago. Just because we're using more advanced techniques, doesn't mean we should freak out all of a sudden.
Really, we should be excited by the prospect of more GMOs, and support it fully. Anyone against GMO is pro-starvation. GMO lets us produce more food to feed more people.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world, and a major international sporting event (one of the big six World Marathon Majors). I'm sure news organizations in your country were covering the marathon anyway, even if just in their sports coverage. The fact that bombs started going off at it should certainly make the news all over.
Police are saying they have no suspects in custody, and that police are at hospitals to get witness statements as part of standard investigative procedure.
There was also a report that the bombs may have been detonated remotely with cell phones, or with timers, in which case there would be no hospitalized terrorists.
It's usually a good idea to take everything with a grain of salt when events like this happen.
It would be awfully coincidental. It's Patriot's Day in MA (and ME) and it happened right where lots of people are and lots of cameras (terrorists love bodies and media attention).
Any other day, anywhere else, sure, maybe it's just a gas line.
By the way, Boston Police just released some info. 2 confirmed dead, 22 wounded.
Yeah, I just figure that by the time I get to that point, they'll have nanotech or something that can just go in there and build new superteeth in a couple hours.
Everyone in my class learned Logo in 3rd grade. In middle school they taught everyone HTML. In high school we were using Scheme in several math classes.
I also learned C++ and Java in high school, though admittedly that was not everyone, and it was AP level classwork.
I think the earlier you teach kids computer languages, the better, and the quicker they'll pick it up. I don't think OOP is something terribly scary. After all, objects is kind of what people have to deal with every day in the real world. You explain it as nouns and verbs, and it's not that hard to understand.