Today's Fortune:

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I miss posting here, but can't think of much to say.

.: posted by andy 11/26/2013


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ancient door found in Switzerland. Neat. It's easy to think that 5000 years ago, Europeans were living in caves or shelters made of animal skins (especially given the way they live today). This door suggests they were living in relatively comfortable shelters, even by today's 3rd world standards.

.: posted by andy 10/21/2010


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Another perspective on the Neanderthals. It makes sense that the excessive ash would have clogged up their automobile engines so they couldn't move around much.

.: posted by dweeb eubanks 10/05/2010


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Neanderthals were smarter than we recently thought, but possibly not as smart as we thought a while back, and definitely not as smart or as dumb as some people think. Also, they may be an unrelated species that evolved separately and that we killed off, or they may be a separate species that evolved separately and that we absorbed. Or both. Or neither.

.: posted by andy 9/23/2010


See if you can spot the double standard.

.: posted by andy 9/23/2010


Video tour of the ISS

.: posted by andy 9/23/2010


Friday, September 17, 2010

Giant short-faced bears. I never heard of these until I read this article. I don't understand why they're not counted among the megafauna, alongside Cave Bears, which were contemporary but smaller.

.: posted by andy 9/17/2010


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lately I have been selling DVDs on eBay with over 500 Army Field Manuals on them. They sell for $5, so it's not a huge money maker for me. I like to look at the profiles of my buyers, and I have noticed they tend to buy the following products:

Coins, coins, and more coins (usually with gold or silver content, but some collectors)
Surplus Medical Supplies
Radio and Radar Equipment
Radiation Detection Equipment
Long shelf-life food and food preservation stuff

.: posted by andy 9/15/2010


Monday, September 13, 2010

An excellent idea, Now, if the state of New York would do the same thing, we wouldn't have an unbelievable budget deficit every year.

.: posted by dweeb eubanks 9/13/2010


Thursday, September 09, 2010

This would never happen in Israel.

.: posted by andy 9/09/2010


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Favorite quote so far from the Marine Corps Survival Guide: "...you should note that altitude does not make a difference unless you are extremely high." They're talking about boiling water to eliminate giardia cysts. Still, I can't help thinking of the song Too High for the Supermarket by The Uninvited.

.: posted by andy 9/08/2010


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obsidian tools used for brain surgery a long LONG time ago. I'm surprised that they would be able to diagnose a brain hemorrhage.

I ordered two of these little credit card survival tools. Made of steel and have as many as three usable tools (out of 11 advertised), this may be a handy addition to my Altoid Survival Kit. The bottle opener and can opener will be handy in non-life-and-death situations, and who knows, maybe you're lost in the woods with a bottle of import beer? It has a knife blade which one review described as "sharp." We'll see about that. It will probably be sharp enough to make a fuzz stick, and the steel will be ... steely ... enough to strike sparks off a ferrocerium bar.

Archaeologists find evidence of feasting 10,000 years ago. Guess where! That's right, it's Israel. Anyhoo, in this case the occasion seems to be a wake held after the death of a shaman-lady. Archaeologists speculate that she was important and so they had a big feast in honor of her passing. Here's another idea: maybe she was suspected of witchcraft and they had a big feast to celebrate her death. Ding dong the witch is dead, eh?

More on the Natufians.

.: posted by andy 8/31/2010


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Field and Stream Magazine: Survival Kits. Starting at the Altoid tin level.

Things like this fascinate me. I might build my own Altoid tin survival kit. My kit will focus on the extreme basics: water, shelter, fire. Thirst and exposure will kill you much faster than hunger. Lots of kits contain fishing line, but I think this is a lot of foolish and unproven optimism. Maybe if you know how to build and maintain a trot-line... I think you're better off knowing which plants to eat.

These kits also frequently contain a compass. If you need the kit because you're lost, then you need to sit tight, not head off cross-country with your trusty button compass. If you know where you are and have a map, then you probably also have a grownup compass. But this is an altoid tin survival kit, so you're probably lost without any of your other gear. So sit tight. You will burn precious calories bushwhacking cross country, and you will also sweat into your only clothes, even if it's cold.

My kit will contain:
  • Esbit Tabs
  • Waterproof matches
  • An Oven Bag
  • A Magnesium Fire Starter
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Antibiotic Ointment Packet
  • Duct Tape wrapped around a pencil
  • Razor Blade (ideally with some kind of handle/holder, but that depends on space)
  • Mason Twine

    The two things missing that I feel are critical: a poncho and an emergency blanket. These are too big for an Altoids tin. In face, either item takes up about the same amount of space as an Altoids tin. They can go in your other pockets, or you can rubber band them to the tin.

    .: posted by andy 8/29/2010


    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Archaeologists find new clues why the Maya left. That's the title for this article. It's an interesting article, but not one clue is actually revealed. Just lots of evidence that the Maya left this site in a hurry.

    Oetzi, the iceman may have been ceremonially buried. I think he was a thief, was wounded while thieving, and escaped here after the theft before dying from his wounds. I'm not worried about the pollen. There's probably pollen in my house from April, but that doesn't mean that it's still April now.

    On the topic of global warming: we've been through a lot worse, and everything turned out fine for all we know. Although a miniature Ice Age at the end of the Medieval era may have killed off the Greenlanders.

    .: posted by andy 8/26/2010


    Monday, August 23, 2010

    The Norse Settlement in Greenland. There are a number of theories that attempt to explain its failure. Another article about the same. I think all the theories are pretty much true. There were a small number of Norse settlers to begin with, they failed to adopt indigenous clothing or lifestyles (like all Europeans), they were attempting to farm in an inhospitable environment, they were poorly armed and subject to depredation by anyone. The Eastern Settlement is now occupied by the tiny village of Qassiarsuk.

    Photos from the Scott Expedition hut at Cape Evans. Someday I would like to go see that hut.

    .: posted by andy 8/23/2010


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