Saturday, August 27, 2016

FreEBook: Bulletin of Primitive Technology

The second free publication I'm featuring is actually a magazine, not a book: Bulletin of Primitive Technology, first issue.  At 52 pages, though, it rivals much of what is being published today as e-books.  The only thing that makes it a magazine is the variety of articles.  Some are deeply philosophical, others are intensely practical.  The magazine is no longer being published, but the material has been collected into several books put out by the Society for Primitive Technology (which are not free).

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shopping List....

Everyone is on a budget these days, especially preppers.  It's hard enough when you are just trying to deal with today's needs, but when you are trying to set aside for the future, it's that much more difficult.  One way to prioritize is to buy things which are relatively inexpensive now but which will become much more expensive later on; Urban Survival Site has a list of 40 of these.  It's mostly common sense, but it's nice to have a list to make sure you are missing any.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Maze of Twisty Little Passages....

If you played D&D in your youth, you probably had to rely on your imagination quite a bit.  Someone's imagination was quite stimulated to create the most amazing D&D map ever created.  I think I would go back to playing if I could play on that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Story Time!

Apparently there is a relatively new social media site called Vine featuring 7 second videos.  One of the funniest guys on there is Thomas Sanders.  I particularly love his "Narrating Real Life" vines which start out with him saying "Story Time!" and then cutting to some random person who he talks about what they are doing and then adds a bizarre twist.

Here is the largest compilation I could find on Youtube of his material:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

You, You, You Oughta Know

Ever have someone ask you to sum something up in one word?  And you really have a lot more to say than just one word?  Sometimes it's nice to have just the right word to say.  BuzzFeed has an article on 29 Obscure Words That Everybody Needs To Know.  My favorite is #28 on their list, 'hygge': they have a marvelous description, but basically it's a warm, fuzzy, safe feeling.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Time Tunnel: Part 1: Crash Landing

The day was peaceful and sunny.  It had been a long winter, and people had happily shed their heavy winter clothes to enjoy the rare April warm spell.  A few of the younger, braver souls were laying on blankets in their bikinis, soaking up the sun.  The traffic was moderate, normal for a weekday afternoon, and no one paid much attention to it.

Until the crash.

A bright red Honda Civic had veered out of its lane into an empty parking space and then plowed into the back of white Ford Windstar minivan.

"Oh My God!  He killed that poor man!," screamed a young woman on the sidewalk.

A body lay in the street.  He appeared to have a lab coat on, though it was enough badly tattered that is was hard to be sure.  It even had an odd, singed appearance.

Traffic quickly stopped, and a man ran out to check on the body.  "He's still breathing!  We need an ambulance!"  He pointed at one of the sunbathers who had sat up and was looking at him and yelled, "Run in your house and call 9-1-1", which she promptly did.

The driver of the Civic got out his car.  "I didn't touch him.  It wasn't my fault.  He was just suddenly standing there in the middle of the road, and I swerved to avoid him."

"Yeah, right," said the man by the body. "Have you been drinking?"

"I swear! Not a drop."

"He's telling the truth," a little boy chimed in from the sidewalk.  "The man just appeared out of thin air."

"Billy, stop it!" scolded his mother.  "Really, this boy has such a vivid imagination," she said to the men in the street.  She turned back to her son: "Men do NOT appear out of thin air."

"But I saw it..."

"ENOUGH!  I don't want to hear anymore of this nonsense."

The fire hall was just a few blocks away, so the ambulance arrived just a few minutes later.  They quickly immobilized his neck in case his spine was injured and quickly got him onto a stretcher.  By this point the police had arrived; one officer was directing traffic while another was taking witnesses' statements.

As they got the man into the ambulance, he briefly opened his eyes.  Wanting to quickly ascertain if he suffered any brain injury, the paramedic asked, "What's your name?"

"Perry Duncan"

"What year is it?"

"I have no idea.  What year IS it?"

"2003," the paramedic replied.

The two last words Perry said before he dropped off into unconsciousness again: "It worked."

Friday, August 5, 2016

FreEBook: Plant Guilds

There are a ton of free E-books to download on the Internet (and considering how little electrons weigh, a ton is a whole heck of a lot), and many of them pertain to the topics I cover in this blog.  There are two ways to approach this bounty: one is to provide long lists to download en masse, and the other is to review them one-by-one.  The major advantage of the first is that you have all the information if you lose access to the Internet; the main disadvantage is that you won't go through them when you download them, so you'll need to discipline yourself to come back to them later.

Since a number of people have already done the first option, I will not be doing it here.  I will, however, provide links to those links and even repositories.  Instead I will be providing links to individual e-books in the same annotated manner I have been for articles, videos, and everything else.

The first free E-book comes from Plant Guilds.  This is a bit of a "cheat sheet" for doing permaculture in temperate climates, having done some of the design work for you.  In it are 10 plans of plants that go together.  Most of them are labeled by the largest tree in them; the two notable exceptions are the Bee Guild, to attract pollinators, and the Wet Meadow Guild.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fighting the Gorn

In a classic episode of the original Star Trek series, Captain Kirk has to fight the captain of the Gorn ship in one-on-one combat using only what he can find on a deserted planet.  The Gorn, while slower than humans, were much stronger, so Kirk had no hope of defeating him hand-to-claw.  What he did was build a cannon.  Mythbusters did a show that proved that it wasn't possible using the ingredients shown.  But that is not the last word!  Using an ingredient that they would not have shown on television in the 1960s, these guys show that it is possible:

This isn't really about an almost 50 year old TV episode, though. The key point here is that just a tiny bit of knowledge can mean the difference between success and failure.