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31 January, 2011

Egypt and Tunisia Usher in the New Era of Global Food Revolutions

Egypt and Tunisia usher in the new era of global food revolutions - Telegraph: "... Events have moved briskly since a Tunisian fruit vendor with a handcart set fire to himself six weeks ago, and in doing so lit the fuse that has detonated Egypt and threatens to topple the political order of the Maghreb, Yemen, and beyond.

As we sit glued to Al-Jazeera watching authority crumble in the cultural and political capital of the Arab world, exhilaration can turn quickly to foreboding...

... The surge in global food prices since the summer – since Ben Bernanke signalled a fresh dollar blitz, as it happens – is not the underlying cause of Arab revolt, any more than bad harvests in 1788 were the cause of the French Revolution.

Yet they are the trigger, and have set off a vicious circle. Vulnerable governments are scrambling to lock up world supplies of grain while they can. Algeria bought 800,000 tonnes of wheat last week, and Indonesia has ordered 800,000 tonnes of rice, both greatly exceeding their normal pace of purchases. Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Bangladesh, are trying to secure extra grain supplies..."


Communicate If Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet

Communicate if Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet - Wired How-To Wiki: "Scenario: Your government is displeased with the communication going on in your location and pulls the plug on your internet access, most likely by telling the major ISPs to turn off service.

This is what happened in Egypt Jan. 25 prompted by citizen protests, with sources estimating that the Egyptian government cut off approximately 88 percent of the country's internet access. What do you do without internet? Step 1: Stop crying in the corner. Then start taking steps to reconnect with your network. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep the communication flowing..."


26 January, 2011

These Deadly Animals Will Kill You In Seconds

These deadly animals will kill you in seconds | Before It's News: "Everyone knows that big, mean animals can kill you.

Most people with common sense try to avoid creatures with big teeth and claws and eyes that view humans as a potential next meal.

Lions and sharks and bears and rhinos, slithering jungle snakes, chomping alligators and crocodiles, and even jumping fanged spiders are to be avoided at all costs.

Yet thousands of people lose their lives every year to harmless-looking animals that can kill or paralyze a human in a matter of moments. These are the secret killers that strike out and steal away a person's life when least expected.

Many of the dead and dying are vacationers, often visiting exotic, adventurous spots featuring enticing food and drink, great weather, bright sunshine...and a handful of death lurking around the next corner..."


Siberians Raided Rodent Caches for Food

Siberians Raided Rodent Caches for Food: "To survive brutal winters, inhabitants of Siberia and the Russian Far East as recently as the late 19th century raided food stores—of rodents.

According to a new study, records by 18th-century Russian, Swedish, and German explorers describe people using sticks, hoes, or hooks to dig up caches of food gathered by voles and other small mammals.

At the time, most indigenous groups in the region lived nomadically, getting the bulk of their food from hunting, fishing, or herding sheep and horses.

In the absence of agriculture, people living in the region got all their vegetables from the wild, said study leader Ingvar Svanberg, an ethnobiologist at Uppsala University's Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies in Sweden.

'Instead of gathering themselves, by digging up roots in the fields, [people] let rodents do that for them,' Svanberg said..."


25 January, 2011

Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells

Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells: "Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep 'breath,' causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report.

The simmering volcano has produced major eruptions—each a thousand times more powerful than Mount St. Helens's 1980 eruption—three times in the past 2.1 million years. Yellowstone's caldera, which covers a 25- by 37-mile (40- by 60-kilometer) swath of Wyoming, is an ancient crater formed after the last big blast, some 640,000 years ago.

Since then, about 30 smaller eruptions—including one as recent as 70,000 years ago—have filled the caldera with lava and ash, producing the relatively flat landscape we see today.

But beginning in 2004, scientists saw the ground above the caldera rise upward at rates as high as 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) a year.

The rate slowed between 2007 and 2010 to a centimeter a year or less. Still, since the start of the swelling, ground levels over the volcano have been raised by as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) in places..."


24 January, 2011

The U.N. Wants New Global Currency to Replace Dollar

UN wants new global currency to replace dollar - Telegraph: "In a radical report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said the system of currencies and capital rules which binds the world economy is not working properly, and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises.

It added that the present system, under which the dollar acts as the world's reserve currency , should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration.

Although a number of countries, including China and Russia, have suggested replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency, the UNCTAD report is the first time a major multinational institution has posited such a suggestion..."


20 January, 2011

Crime-Ridden City Forced to Cut Police Force Nearly in Half

Crime-ridden Camden, N.J., cuts police force nearly in half - CNN.com: "The mayor of crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey, has announced layoffs of nearly half of the city's police force and close to a third of its fire department.

One hundred sixty-eight police officers and 67 firefighters were laid off Tuesday, as officials struggle to close a $26.5 million budget gap through a series of belt-tightening measures, Mayor Dana Redd told reporters. The layoffs take effect immediately...

... The apparent impasse has left administrators of a city with the second-highest crime rate in the nation scrambling to figure out solutions to keep residents safe. Camden is second only to St. Louis, Missouri, in annual rankings of cities based on compilations of FBI crime statistics..."


17 January, 2011

Inexpensive Perimeter Alarm

Inexpensive perimeter alarm | ModernSurvivalOnline.com: "Security after TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) will be important. Depending upon your location – methods used to be aware of 'trespassers' will vary. For those on a budget – I have discovered a very inexpensive method to provide a decent alert when a passerby trips the alarm.

The main component is a window/door alarm that can be purchased at your local Dollar Tree for $1.00 each. These alarms are very loud (90 decibels). They contain a simple on-off switch and work via a corresponding piece that when moved away from the main unit – activates the alarm. Below are the step-by-step instructions on how I made one..."


Leading Computer Expert Warns Of Cyber Attack On National Grid

Leading computer expert warns of cyber attack on National Grid - News, Gadgets & Tech - The Independent: "The national electricity grid is wide open to a devastating cyber attack that could wreak havoc on the economy and make the 2008 financial crisis seem puny by comparison, a leading computer industry guru has told The Independent.

James Martin, who has made a fortune from making predictions about future developments in computers, warned that the only sure way of safeguarding the electricity grid against a coordinated cyber assault is to disconnect it completely from the internet..."


14 January, 2011

Downsized! More and More Products Lose Weight

Downsized! More and More Products Lose Weight: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance: "Georgia reader Brian Petrino looked at his Angel Soft toilet tissue, labeled 'our thickest ever,' and fumed. The old roll had 352 sheets per roll; the new one had just 300 sheets, and they were narrower. 'It should say 'our smallest,' he groused.

From toothpaste to tuna fish, hot dogs to hand soap, companies have been shaving ounces and inches from packaged goods for years, usually blaming it on rising costs for ingredients and energy. They've got a point: Higher commodity and fuel costs are expected to cause a spike in food prices by as much as 3 percent in 2011. But if manufacturers are skimping when costs go up, why aren't they more generous when costs hold steady or fall?

No one likes a price hike, but what riles readers are the ways manufacturers hide their handiwork: indenting the bottom of containers (a favorite trick among peanut butter processors), making plastic wraps thinner, or whipping ice cream so that you pay for air instead of ingredients..."


13 January, 2011

Rise of the Preppers: Survivalists Get a Makeover

American Preppers Network and Survival - Natural Disasters and Preppers - Popular Mechanics: "As a truck driver hauling produce and food up and down the West Coast, Tom Martin knows first-hand how vulnerable the U.S. food supply is to disruption. 'I know what our supply chains are like,' he says. 'I know grocery stores rely on just in time services; they only have three days worth of food in any grocery store.'

In a disaster, that food will be gone in less than a day, and if you don't have food stored up, you'll be stuck, says Martin, who is one of a growing number of 'preppers,' or people who are prepping for large-scale disaster. The American Preppers Network, an online forum Martin started in 2009 that quickly grew to 4000 members in nearly all 50 states.

Are preppers just another group of paranoid doomsdayers? Not at all. Many of the scenarios they prepare for, like hurricanes, are quite real, unlike some of the outlandish scenarios (like a United Nations takeover, religious cleansing or government despotism) that drive more extreme members of the fringe. Jerry Young, a longtime prepper in Reno, Nevada, says he has list of 137 scenarios he's preparing for, though 'only a handful of those' are things he's seriously worried about. 'Mostly of my preparations are for natural disasters,' he says. 'But the basic preparations apply to all of them'..."


'One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos'

'One poor harvest away from chaos' - Telegraph: "'Within a decade,' promised the top representative of the world's mightiest country, 'no man, woman or child will go to bed hungry.'

Dr Henry Kissinger, at the height of his powers as US Secretary of State, was speaking to the landmark 1974 World Food Conference. Since then, the number of hungry people worldwide has almost exactly doubled: from 460 million to 925 million.

And this week the airwaves have been full of warnings that the formidable figure could be about to increase further, as a new food crisis takes hold. Some experts warned that the world could be on the verge of a 'nightmare scenario' of cut‑throat competition for the control of shrinking supplies..."


Survival Food Strategies for Real Food Minded Modern Warriors

Sarah Connor Charm School Blog: Survival Food Strategies for Real Food Minded Modern Warriors:: "Survivalist, Disaster Plan, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI.

These are all words that conjure up end of the world scenarios in which, we are humans must fight to survive.

One of the key components to surviving an apocalyptic event is food storage. No matter the scenario, if you are going to survive to fight another day, you must be well nourished and fed not all stripped and burned out from eating heavily processed foods that you have had in the basement for the past 10 years. Most survivalists are well-versed in the MRE or Meal-Ready-To-Eat. These are much touted in the neo-survivalist community for their ability to be stored for years, and lightweight enough to grab and stuff in your bug-out bag, when you need to get the hell outta Dodge. But they don’t offer much in the way of nutrition.

Although I think having a few MREs on hand for very dire emergencies is OK, there are some major issues with them that caution me from making them my primary source of apocalyptic food. These factors also make me question having them on hand at all. They are full of preservatives, contain very little dietary fiber, and have an abundance of trans fats. All of which can wreak havoc on the body, weakening you when you need to be strong and making it hard for you to be at your best physically, thus earning them the nickname of 'Meals Requiring Enemas'. You really don’t want to be dealing with constipation, hives, or projectile vomiting when you are running for your life in the wilderness or fighting off Terminators..."


12 January, 2011

The Advantages of Storing Dried Fruit and Vegetables

A recent post right here on the Backwoods Survival Blog highlighted the growing concern for food shortages around the world.

World leaders are growing concerned with the food inventories and how current patterns will support human life. Governments like Russia, as mentioned in the article, are increasing their protectionist efforts as a way to stave off potential shortages. If you follow government activity you probably realize that by the time politicians acknowledge a problem it’s already too late for the general public.

The best thing to do is to take action for you, family, and friends. The best way to do that is by planning ahead and knowing the best food to store for those just-in-case situations.

Dried Fruit and Vegetables

The saying “eat your fruits and vegetables” has become cliché over the years. Usually clichés occur for a reason – they carry so much truth that people overuse the saying.

Vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants – these are the words we here repeatedly. They have healing powers. They build our immune systems. They keep us alive.

As part of a balanced diet fruits and vegetables are necessary for a long and healthy life.

But what if what is discussed in the article linked above occurs? What if there are more instances in the future of social unrest when food shortages occur? Whether as a result of natural disasters, economic disaster, or another man-made disaster there is reason to store food including dried fruit and vegetables.

The next question is what type of fruit and vegetables should be stored?

Dried fruit and vegetables are well known to have advantages.

For starters – the shelf life of dried fruits and vegetables is known to be many years: 15, 20, even 30 in some instances. That’s a long time when you’re thinking about all the events that have occurred in history that have led to food shortages across the world.

The tricky part with storing food is knowing you’re actually going to have food that is not only edible when you want to eat it, but food that tastes good and can be made with a decent meal. That’s where the question of taste comes in with air dried food versus freeze dried food.

Freeze dried food uses a process of refrigerated vacuuming where the food is dehydrated, but the key part is the food is not thawed. This process generally costs a bit more, but the result is a more flavorful food when consumed later on.

Air dried food – also known as dehydrated food – is usually heated and the water removed completely from the food. This process is cheaper yet a flavor is lost in the process.

Freeze dried and air dried food both have their advantages and any storage facility would be wise to include both. Look to store food with few to no additives or preservatives. These take away the nutritional value of the food and can actually cause the shelf life to be shortened.

Is Food Losing Its Nutritional Value?

An interesting report came out just this past summer. Researches shows fruits and vegetables are losing their nutritional value. As we have put emphasis on bigger, better, and faster over the years we have actually stripped our fruit and vegetables of what makes them good for us.

This development makes it even more necessary to store food of high quality. What’s quality today will have even more value in the future.


Fruits and vegetables are necessary for a quality and healthy life.

Along with a balanced diet the old saying “eat your fruits and vegetables” will remain important 15, 20, and 30 years from now. Dried fruit – freeze and air – is a great way to store the necessary fruit and vegetables for future use.

As the world becomes more and more unstable in the coming years there will be much benefit to storing your own food. Crisis and shortage around the world will strain the world’s food inventories in the coming years as mentioned in the first article linked above.

What will you do for yourself, your family, and your friends?

Make sure you not only have something that will last a long time, but something that actually tastes good when you prepare it years from now in the just-in-case situation.

Get yourself from dried fruits and veggies. You’ll be in good company with the best sailors in the world too – Sailor set to sail around the world, freeze dried food and all.

Dayne Shuda writes for North Bay Trading Co. On their website you can find various dried foods including dried fruit and dried vegetables.

Panicked Residents Strip Shelves Bare

Panicked residents strip shelves bare - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Authorities are urging people to remain calm amid panicked scenes of shoppers stripping the shelves of Brisbane supermarkets as they face record flood levels.

Large parts of Brisbane and Ipswich are to be inundated, with flood peaks expected to surpass the 1974 floods.

There have been reports of panic buying at grocery stores across south-east Queensland, and some retail outlets are running low on essential items such as bread and milk..."


11 January, 2011

By 2045 Global Population is Projected to Reach Nine Billion. Can The Planet Take The Strain?

National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com: "... Leeuwenhoek started with an estimate that around a million people lived in Holland. Using maps and a little spherical geometry, he calculated that the inhabited land area of the planet was 13,385 times as large as Holland. It was hard to imagine the whole planet being as densely peopled as Holland, which seemed crowded even then. Thus, Leeuwenhoek concluded triumphantly, there couldn’t be more than 13.385 billion people on Earth—a small number indeed compared with the 150 billion sperm cells of a single codfish! This cheerful little calculation, writes population biologist Joel Cohen in his book How Many People Can the Earth Support?, may have been the first attempt to give a quantitative answer to a question that has become far more pressing now than it was in the 17th century. Most answers these days are far from cheerful.

Historians now estimate that in Leeuwenhoek’s day there were only half a billion or so humans on Earth. After rising very slowly for millennia, the number was just starting to take off. A century and a half later, when another scientist reported the discovery of human egg cells, the world’s population had doubled to more than a billion. A century after that, around 1930, it had doubled again to two billion. The acceleration since then has been astounding. Before the 20th century, no human had lived through a doubling of the human population, but there are people alive today who have seen it triple. Sometime in late 2011, according to the UN Population Division, there will be seven billion of us.

And the explosion, though it is slowing, is far from over. Not only are people living longer, but so many women across the world are now in their childbearing years—1.8 billion—that the global population will keep growing for another few decades at least, even though each woman is having fewer children than she would have had a generation ago. By 2050 the total number could reach 10.5 billion, or it could stop at eight billion—the difference is about one child per woman. UN demographers consider the middle road their best estimate: They now project that the population may reach nine billion before 2050—in 2045..."


Legislation Proposes Utah Adopt A Gold-based System

Legislation proposes Utah adopt a gold-based system | The Salt Lake Tribune: "Imagine paying your next parking ticket in gold Krugerrands or renewing your driver license using American Gold Eagles.

A proposal in the Utah Legislature would require the state to allow just that, requiring government agencies to accept gold for transactions, and creating a parallel monetary policy for intrastate commerce tied to the price of gold.

Under the legislation that has been drafted, Utah residents could mint their own gold or silver coins, a storehouse would be created to stockpile the precious metal and the Utah Defense Force, an arcane state militia that may be called and armed by the governor, would be responsible for securing the inventories..."


07 January, 2011

The Same Prices for Less Product = Hidden Inflation

As food costs rise, retailers keep prices stable by shrinking package sizes, quantities: "Honey, they shrunk the orange juice.

Household brands ranging from Ivory soap to Kraft cheese singles have seen their packages downsized up to 20% over the last few years - even though shoppers are paying just as much, according to a new study by Consumer Reports.

The investigation found that consumers are getting less bang for their buck on everything from toothpaste to tuna cans.

'You are paying the same for less,' said Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks.

The supermarket's biggest losers include a half-gallon of Tropicana orange juice, which should be 64 ounces based on what you learned in school, but is just 59 ounces.

Also svelter: the iconic Haagen-Dazs ice cream pint, which has shed nearly 13% of its weight, and Kraft 2% Milk Singles, now featuring two fewer slices.

These incredibly shrinking products are a byproduct of rising commodity and fuel costs that are expected to raise the cost of food by 3% this year..."


06 January, 2011

'Fed Up' 82-Year-Old Held Alleged Thieves At Gunpoint

'Fed up' 82-year-old held alleged thieves at gunpoint | citizen-times.com | Asheville Citizen-Times: "An 82-year-old retired high school math teacher and business owner with diabetes and leukemia shot out a tire on a pickup truck loaded with stuff allegedly stolen from his house near here and held two men at gunpoint until police arrived.

New Castle County police took William G. Rafter, 41, of Clayton, Del., and Mark Sturgill, 30, of Bridgeton, N.J., into custody. They were charged with felony theft and conspiracy by state police, who said they stole a generator and metal items from the yard and put them in a truck at an apartment behind the house...

... Harper says he was just getting up Dec. 10 at another house he owns a few miles away in Ogletown, Del., when his son David Harper, 53, called from work in Dover, Del. His son said a friend who works near the house called him saying thieves were robbing the place.

Joe Harper, an Army veteran who served as a combat engineer and instructor, grabbed his gun before driving over. Minutes later, Harper said he saw his stolen things in the truck and two men getting into it.

Walking to the men, gun in hand, Harper said, he yelled, 'I'm an excellent shot and can shoot out your eyes at 60 paces.' He fired once at the driver's side front tire and stopped about 6 feet in front of the truck.

'I said, 'If it moves toward me, the driver gets one right between the eyes,' ' he said. After that, he added, 'they didn't give me much guff.'

Harper was not charged in the incident. But he said he wasn't happy to be frisked, have his gun and pocketknife seized and spend more than an hour in the back of a police car.

His son got back his knife..."


05 January, 2011

George Soros: The United States Must Stop Resisting The Orderly Decline Of The Dollar, The Coming Global Currency And The New World Order

George Soros: The United States Must Stop Resisting The Orderly Decline Of The Dollar, The Coming Global Currency And The New World Order: "In the video you are about to see, George Soros talks about 'the creation of a New World Order', he discusses the need for a 'managed decline' of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros? Well, he is a billionaire 'philanthropist' who came to be known as 'the Man Who Broke the Bank of England' when he raked in a staggering one billion dollars during the 1992 'Black Wednesday' currency crisis. These days Soros is most famous for being perhaps the most 'politically active' (at least openly) billionaire in the world. His Open Society Institute is in more than 60 countries and it spends approximately $600 million a year promoting the ideals that Soros wants promoted. Soros and his pet organizations have played a key role in quite a few 'revolutions' around the globe over the last several decades, but these days the main goal of George Soros is to bring political change to the United States..."


End of the world? Tune into WBT-AM

End of the world? Tune into WBT-AM - Local - TheSunNews.com: "There's a new doomsday bunker in Charlotte.

It's just a precaution, if you're the optimistic type. End of the world stuff, if you're not.

First, a history lesson:

In 1963, just months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, federal engineers dug a bomb-proof shelter beneath the 1929 transmitter building for WBT-AM (1110) in south Charlotte.

There, 16 feet beneath the soil, workers installed a radio studio and outfitted it with a radiation suit, Geiger counter and barrels of water. Station lore holds that a shotgun or two also went into the refuge, just in case.

It was one of several such installations at major radio stations across the country, and their mission was grim. It would be the place that survivors of a nuclear holocaust would get emergency information.

That was the Cold War era. Things change. This is the age of terrorism.

A new shelter rises

In July, federal contractors returned to the WBT-AM transmitter in the 9200 block of Nation's Ford Road.

On thick concrete pads, behind double fences topped with barbed wire, they erected two small above-ground buildings, barely bigger than sheds. One contains a generator with a 30-day energy supply; in the other is a small radio studio.

Like their subterranean predecessor nearby - which isn't hooked up any more but could be activated with a little work - they are shielded against the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear weapon that would fry electronic components. They're also hardy enough to shoulder hurricane winds..."


04 January, 2011

More Strange News from Arkansas: Dead Fish Cover 20-miles of Arkansas River

Dead fish cover 20-miles of Arkansas River - todaysthv.com | KTHV | Little Rock, AR: "Arkansas Game & Fish is trying to figure out why 100,000 fish in Northwest Arkansas turned up dead. They were found along a 20-mile stretch between the Ozark Dam and Highway 109 Bridge in Franklin County...

... Investigators from local and state agencies took samples from the affected area. Stephens says fish kills occur every year, but the magnitude of this one is unusual, and disease could be the cause..."


03 January, 2011

New Site Displays ALL Of Your Personal Info

New Site Displays ALL Of Your Personal Info: "Upon launching the Spokeo website, they cleverly remind you that 'it’s not your grandma’s phonebook,' which is not only a hacky reference but also literally true: the old meatspace phonebooks didn’t automatically expose all of your private information like age, income, home value, credit score, relationship status and map to your house. Who the Eff are these freaks? How did they get ALL of your info? I don’t know, but all of mine was there. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remove yourself from the database of these privacy rapists currently thriving in Zuckerberg’s America..."