Likely Apocalypses: Environmental Disaster

When we created a list of likely apocalypses, Environmental Disaster was one of the top suggestions and fears. Let’s do a deeper dive into the end of the world at the hands of an environmental disaster.

What is the Most Likely Apocalyptic Environmental Disaster?

You’re probably aware of some major environmental disasters that have affected thousands or millions of lives around the world. Some of the most common include Chernobyl, Bhopal, Kuwaiti Oil Fires, Love Canal, The Exxon Valdez, The Aral Sea, and Tokaimura Nuclear Plant among others. All these disasters are in the past. The next major disaster that shocks the world to its roots is not far away.
A major earthquake that destroys the United States is increasingly likely. Continue reading “Likely Apocalypses: Environmental Disaster”

Your Government is in Control, America. [Preparedness Calendar 2017 from Ready.gov ]

As the saying goes: The Best Offense is a Good Defense. But Preparing a good defense can be a lot of work and planning. Where does one even start when threats and possible calamities lurk around every corner all day, every day? Start with a calendar. Specifically, start with the Ready.gov 2017 Preparedness Calendar.
Continue reading “Your Government is in Control, America. [Preparedness Calendar 2017 from Ready.gov ]”

Likely Apocalypses: World Wide Nuclear War

Let’s expand on some of the likely apocalypses we touched on back in our list of likely apocalypses.

First up in the list of likely apocalypses: World Wide Nuclear War

Nuclear war may be inevitable, but we have been lucky so far. However, we shouldn’t kid ourselves that the end of the cold war has made the threat of the nuclear war an irrelevance. In a lot of ways, things are more dangerous than ever. There are two nuclear powers who refuse to play nicely with each other in Pakistan and India, then there is the newly armed and unpredictable North Korean regime, and a belligerent Russia keen to reassert its power to the world. According to analysts, there is a 5% chance that a nuclear war could happen every decade. All it takes is for someone to press the detonation button. A single US stealth bomber can carry 16 B83 nuclear bombs. Each of those bombs can produce 75 times the yield of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and a single Trident submarine can destroy over 40 million people. Continue reading “Likely Apocalypses: World Wide Nuclear War”

Let's make a Survival Skills Checklist!

Why should we bother making Survival Skills Checklist?!

Being a survivor is about luck and preparation in varying measures. While it’s not possible to ensure luck when it comes to not being the victim or an apocalypse, it is possible to prepare in case of suck luck. Or, best case scenario, it’s possible to prepare to a point where the proportion of luck required for survival is significantly reduced.
Movies, TV, Books, Comic Books, and Video Games show a number of characters who display what seems to be an unreasonable skill set in the most necessary of situations. How can an actual, non-designed human who lives, in reality, reduce the amount of luck required and increase their added value in almost any situation? Make a plan and prepare.
Based on (very little) experience, reviewing copious materials (watching Netflix and playing Video Games), and surveying experts (Google search for “list of skills”) here is a Survival Skills Checklist that shouldn’t take a lifetime to learn and the logic to motivate exploring them.

This Survival Skills Checklist will be updated as posts specific to each skill are posted to expand on each topic with resources, insights, and more.

Continue reading “Let's make a Survival Skills Checklist!”

Everyday Survival: Going to Work

Going to work is, on the surface, a straightforward and simple task. Unfortunately people are often caught off guard by the simple perils of going to and being at work that they fail to prepare properly for.
So, lucky you, you’ve got a job. But now you’ve got to keep it and if possible improve it by way of financial compensation or upward mobility in the organization that give you said job. This is not as simple as simply showing up and doing your job. No, people have to see you and formulate opinions about you and that’s where everyday survival tips come in.

Everyday Survival: Going to Work

1. If you’re on time, you’re late; if you’re early, you’re on time.
No one care that you have a life outside of work or that traffic exists or that anything aside from you got to work in time to be set up and working before it’s time to punch in. It shows forethought and self-management and give you the time to put yourself and your thoughts in order so as not to just jump in a react. That’s how dogs get skunked and bouncers get punched. Take you time to show up, assess the situation and your place in it, an then join in.
Leave early – Earlier than you think you need to. Give yourself at least a half-hour of early time because you’re better off tweeting in the parking lot for 20 minutes than running in out of breath just 5 minutes late.
2. You stink.
As a human, you likely sweat and it probably smells. If you’re a lady, you’ve got lady parts and those sweat and smell sometimes too – sorry dudes, it’s just a part of life, like this “ball sweat” I’ve heard about. No one wants to smell your stink. I mean, we’ve all had some epic long weekends in our twenties where we woke up on the couch and wondered what that smell was only to find out it was us. Maybe your face, under arms, or private parts.
It’s biology and it’s nothing to worry about. However it it something to be aware of and in control of. People notice smells and they’re distracting. so distracting they make you seems less intelligent – Why would I trust your opinion on sales strategies if you can’t even wash yourself properly?
Keep a stash of toiletries in your car or bag. Deodorant, mouth wash, floss, tiny disposable toothbrushes, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products – including scented liners and summer’s eve wipes.
Notice the lack of “perfume” and “cologne”? That’s because those things stink and make people gag or get migraines and make you smell like you have human stink that hiding under chemical-flower stink. Don’t try to mask your funk, fix it.
3. Murphy’s Law is Law
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. When you’re going to work, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Don’t put off car maintenance. Don’t try to squeeze in a coffee before the train instead of getting it in the city once you arrive. Don’t assume they’ll clear the snow enough for their to be a reasonable number of parking spaces. Don’t trust that capable of wearing white and eating food and drinking coffee before a big meeting without an incident.
Don’t go to work everyday under the assumption that because you have a job today you still will tomorrow. They may like you but business isn’t about feelings and if you don’t prepare for the worst and preempt issues like missing handouts, double booked conference rooms, skipping lunch, having a headache, then you’re not being realistic and you should be saving up for unemployment.
4. You’re not that pretty without makeup.
Sorry, ladies but in the real world, we don’t live in a Dove campaign. On the other hand it’s not YouTube beauty guru land either. If you have a meeting, complete with a meeting maker and someone who outranks you, put on a little  makeup. It sucks but it’s true.
Women are expected to wear enough makeup to look naturally fresh-faced and healthy. Mascara, BB Cream, blush and lip gloss are all it takes to look like you give a shit. Just like men should know when buttons all the way down a shirt and a tie are appropriate, women should know when people want to look at a filtered version of their faces.
Keep those four basics on hand at all times so you can always run to the bathroom and quickly put on a face people want to see. Guys, maybe keep a shirt and tie handy (but for God’s sake, don’t let it get wrinkled).
5. Assume you’ll be stuck here.
This is where my crazy, paranoid, apocalypse fever dreams come in. Look at your car and think about what you’d need if you were on a major highway and traffic just stopped for hours. Do you have what you need?
More than half a tank of gas at all times?
A bottle of water that’s not frozen solid?
A spare phone charger?
Your toiletries so you can show up without looking like you’ve been in traffic for hours?
An emergency car kit?
Your insurance information?
Self-defense skills?
Something to kill a zombie with?
A good playlist and or data plan?
A hair tie in case you get hot?
Your boss’ phone number?
Sneakers in case you need to walk/run?
A healthy imagination?
What do you consider a necessity for every day survival when you’re going to work? Nothing? Other things? Something I over looked?

So I did end up knitting

Some time ago, back when we updated regularly, I promised I would learn to knit. Knitting, I proclaimed, was an excellent post-apocalyptic skill, and one that would also make me some post-apocalyptic money.
(not real world money. No-one is willing to pay what it’s worth).
Well, I learned. I’m at a reasonable level of skill now. I’ve made a jumper and a vest, and I can do lace and cables.  And I still maintain that knitting is an excellent post-apocalyptic skill to gain.
But tell you what. So are all the other fibrecrafts.
Spinning, with a drop spindle or a wheel. You can make your own yarn, out of pretty much any animal fibre. Even plant fibres

Drop spindle with wool
Drop spindle with wool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

including nettles. Meaning as long as you have some sheep, maybe a goat or two, and some nettle patches around your compound, you won’t have to rely on your scavengers finding the last good wool. I can spin using a drop spindle and am slowly making less awful looking yarn.
Weaving. Faster than knitting, and creates different kinds of fabrics. Great, wonderful. Can’t do this yet, but I am looking into learning.
Crochet. Like knitting but done with a hook instead. Better for larger projects like blankets and stuff. I’m not any good at this, so I plan to befriend at least one crocheter so I can force them into post-apocalyptic blanket-based slavery.
See, currently my plan is to basically have a super-defended fabric and clothing store. Oh, it sounds silly, but remember how flimsy and useless modern clothing is made to be. It’ll tear, wear out, rot. And then I’ll be there. With lovely, season-appropriate, knitted or woven goods.
And I’ll take all your valuables in exchange, thanks.
So, if you want to survive, maybe learn to knit, or crochet, or weave, or spin, or any number of old-fashioned life skills that are now hobbies. I can’t promise anything, but if you’re quick by the time the apocalypse comes you could have a place with me.
 

The dangers of exhaustion

One of the biggest dangers to you come the post-apocalypse will be your own body and its needs. You are not a computer game character, or a movie character, able to go days, maybe weeks with only a morsel of food and an hour of sleep on a filthy mattress. You need more than that. And exhaustion may be your killer.
Continue reading “The dangers of exhaustion”

How to Trick People Into Liking You…

People are fairly simple creatures who are easily tricked because of their addiction to patterns and basic context cues. People want to trust you, like you, not need to kill you. Heck, you could be an asset to their team if you turn out to be someone they can trust, let their guard down around, and learn to lean on.
We see characters like Daryl on The Walking Dead become fan favorites both in and outside of the show while still being kind of dickish. That’s because in fiction people aren’t real. In fiction, people can’t have all the minutia that actual human relationships are based on.
In reality we dislike people because of their minutia and, surprise, it’s that same bit of detail that makes us either likable or leave-able.

So what are the little things we can do to trick people into liking us?

1. Ask them questions about themselves and their feelings the LISTEN to their responses.

Most people listen to respond rather than listening to understand. Think about it the next time you observe a conversation. The person who isn’t speaking hears something they think they know about and have a response poised and ready on the tip of their tongue. They’ve officially stopped listening to understand the other persons point and are just waiting for a break so they can respond.
This is rude and selfish. If you’re telling someone about your dearly departed grandmother and you see their eyebrows raise up and their mouth do that “O” shape where  they clearly have something to say about hospice facilities while you’re still talking about… Well it doesn’t matter now because clearly your audience doesn’t care.
Don’t show people you don’t care about what they’re saying by listening to respond rather than to understand. Sit, Listen, and take time to process what you’ve heard. Then respond. Keep in mind, sometimes the best response is just agreement or acknowledgement. “I hear you.” “That’s the worst.” “I can’t believe that.” “I’m so sorry you had to experience that.”

2. Be helpful when you can and give a brief reason when you can’t.

Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and do nothing or let someone take care of you. Sometimes it’s super rude even if you technically have nothing to do.
The worst thing you can say when you’re on a team or doing anything with other people is, “That’s not my job.” This one phrase is a sure way to make people side-eye you with utter, unabridged contempt. It’s worse than, “no” or “I don’t know how” or  even making an excuse that makes it clear that you don’t want it.
“That’s not my job” is somehow both dismissive, condescending, and mean. You’re rubbing it in that they still have work to do AND you’re not going to help; not because you can’t but because you just don’t want to.
It doesn’t hurt to help. If anything you gain skills and build a rapport with people through a shared struggle. And if you can’t help someone, don’t waste their time whining about all the things you have to do or how your arm hurts or whatever your real or fake reason is. They asked for help not a time suck. Again, this is selfish. This person is so busy or overwhelmed that they’ve humbled themself and asked for help.
Apologize with a sentence (not a run-on) explaining why you can’t. “Sorry, I’m in the middle of cooking these beans (they understand that the beans will burn if you leave them, you don’t need to explain).” “Sorry, I don’t know how to swim; maybe Joe does? (it’s great if you can offer an alternative; but don’t commit someone else to helping)”

3. Do what you say you’ll do.

The worst people are the people who can’t be relied on. People who can’t bother remembering to do things for others and are regularly letting people down.
It’s not just about being the kind of person that people can’t depend on, it’s about being the kind of person that makes life harder for other people. Your slack needs to be picked up or projects can’t be completed or children go hungry and die (in extreme cases).
The solution isn’t to shy away from responsibility, it’s to recognize that what you do or don’t do effects other people and get it done.

4. Try not to complain. If you must, follow up with your solution and plan.

Everyone hates their job. Everyone’s life is hard. Everyone’s body starts to fail after 25. Everyone could stand to lose a few pounds or tone up or eat better. Shut up and do something about it or just shut up.
Complaining gives people this great feeling of release because it’s good to get things off your chest– unless you’re the person listening to the complaints. Complaints are not communication. People who complain want sympathy not solutions which means there’s no real role for people who listen to complaints.
If you want advice, ask for advice. If you want to complain, get a diary or come ready with your own advice.
Like listening to understand, have conversations WITH people, not at people.

5. Mind your manners.

The weird thing about killing people with kindness it that they never seem to see it coming.  I had a roommate in college (who is alive and well to this day) who hated me– specifically she hated having a roommate. I went out of my way to pretend I didn’t notice.
I was nice to her and respectful of our space. I didn’t try to be her friend or invite her to parties. But I was kind to her friends and let her use my refrigerator and offered help when it was convenient or relevant. Eventually she and I genuinely got along swimmingly. I forgot she made me feel unwelcome and she forgot to make me feel unwelcome. The kindness ended up killing the animosity.
Being nice doesn’t cost you anything, doesn’t make you look bad, and doesn’t make life harder. Making the effort to mind your manners is not only basic decency but also the finishing touch you need to make your personality the kind that people are fond of.

So can you trick people into liking you?

Making a habit of all five of these things will guarantee more people will like you. Unfortunately these are not tricks. These are just things that people should do and other people will respond to.
You can fake them for a time, but eventually you’ll either grow to be a more likable person or your true colors will shine through and you’ll get a lot of side-eye and hear a lot of whispered conversations.
P.S.: Sorry if this headline tricked you into clicking. TLDR: some things don’t come naturally but you if you try them you might like the results.

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Just Cover You Calves and Ankles

Way too often I see games, movies, tv shows and whatever else where people are trudging through the zombie apocalypse and, surprise, they get bit on the calf or ankle. Duh! Cover your calves and ankles and this problem disappears.
See, when people die they fall down. On the ground. Around that area where your feet are… That area you’re not usually looking in when you’re walking forward. I see some of the best shooters and fighters kicking through knee-high weeds and then ARRGGGH somethings got their leg like a shark attack.
Seriously though, I can’t feel bad for you if you see a bun of zombies crawling and laying around and you don’t think to protect your most vulnerable parts. You don’t even need combat boots or women’s boots (though women have no excuse for not covering their calves and ankles with boots). Rain boots, though your feet will stink in like six minutes, are perfect. Can you bite through rubber? I can’t.
And you know what the first suggestion will be? Cut the leg off! This may or may not work. Sometime it does, sometime it doesn’t (even in the same fictional universe in some cases). But even if it does, you’ll be hobbled and they’ll be whispering about not wanting to take care of you or how you’ll slow everyone down. This is all the best case scenario where you actually survive the bite and amputation. Because there’s the slow descent into infection and death from either the bite or the amateur doctoring.
Your calves and ankles don’t need to be covered with some indestructible, adamantium-type shit. What’s important is, can’t it be easily torn or bitten through? If no, you’re good. Also important, can you comfortably flee from not only shambling corpses but also fully ambulatory, aggressive humans.

TLDR: Cover Your Calves and Ankles

1. Dead people fall down; living people look up. You can’t change this, just deal with it.
2. Getting bit on the leg is a dumb way to die. Even if they try to save you, you’re dead-ish. They’ll laugh when they tell your story as a cautionary tale to children.
3. Most any boot will do because most people can’t bite through boots. (Also, animals are less likely to hurt you if they have an extra layer or leather or  soccer shin guards to get through.)
4. Don’t cover your calves and ankles to the detriment of your mobility. There’s no point in just being safe from the crawlers if you can’t dodge the walkers or out run the humans.

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