Nature

How Did People Survive Before the Internet?

Unfortunately, they weren’t reading this website. They were, however, just as capable of us of finding something to do. Kids weren’t wondering aimlessly without their tablets and phones. In fact, we aren’t all that far removed from the days when kids played outside all day and had to practically be forced back home for meals and bedtime. Nor did folks pull up the internet every time they needed to learn how to make, fix or craft something.  Someone at sometime taught them in person.

The books below embody some of that old time knowledge and know-how for outdoor projects, skills and survival. Many of these books have been in print, in one form another, for decades. They are for collectors of nostalgia, those who would like to get their hands dirty or people who want to learn their way through the woods without a GPS and survive without a grocery store.

Someday we may all wish we had taken the time to preserve the wisdom of those who came before us.

udl

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Categories: Books, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Worried About Ebola?

I am a bit baffled and disturbed, that months after the Ebola epidemic started raging across Africa, we are still letting people from those areas into the U.S. If you are not baffled or disturbed, I’m thinking you don’t understand what Ebola is.

What it is not is the flu or measles. You have the flu and cough in a room full of people, most won’t even get sick, let alone die. You have Ebola and cough in a room, many may get it (no immunities) and, well, the fatality rate puts this disease somewhere above anthrax (which doesn’t spread very easily without sophisticated help).

While I’m sure there are plenty of dedicated people working around the clock to fight this disease, the laze-fair doctrine of non-existent control of our borders and who enters the country is ripe for a deadly scourge. The open borders, by some studies, is at fault for the recent re-emergence of other disease outbreaks — though none of the killing caliber of Ebola.

Many will say, “It’s only two or three, we can handle it.” Perhaps. But two or three can infect hundreds. This isn’t the chicken pox. You don’t give your kids some lotion, wash your hands a little more often, and go about your life. No, you and everyone you have been in contact goes into isolation lock-down and those who contact the disease fight for their lives.

The only way to stop a disease like this is to take it seriously.

Books like Germs and The Dead Hand detail the insidious nature of diseases like Ebola and, while many were worried about nukes, governments tinkered with weapons some argue are worse. Lab 257 reveals that even the knowledge of what bio agents can do, we didn’t always take them seriously. These books, while focused on biowarfare, hinge on what many viruses and bacteria are capable of doing in nature and among populations (the history of biowarfare research will be eye-opening to many in a troubling sort of way). Then take a look at the movie Contagion for a realistic depiction of what a widespread outbreak could look like.

We can discount, dismiss or explain away what the politicians do or don’t do because of our political preferences. Or we can hold them all accountable to their fundamental purpose: Defending borders, whether from disease or man. Or both.

So technically, if you prepare and take precautions, you no longer have to worry (if you had been to begin with). This is a winnable battle, but decisions now will decide how costly it will be.

gm

P.S. Many people have taken the either-or approach: Either “The media is just hyping Ebola” or “They’re under-reporting it and you need to be in a bubble.” People like to gravitate to extremes, often in emotional response to another extreme. What I am promoting here is simple: Don’t pretend Ebola is just the bad flu or some African disease, and taking simple precautions is common sense. Also, don’t be one of these people who say, “Oh, thousands die from the flu every year, so why worry about Ebola?” Other than that the “thousands” claim is a spurious stat, look at the mortality rates. Mortality rate of flu viruses: Less than 1% (effectively zero), Ebola: 70%.

Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small Books, Big Ideas

I ran across the Wooden Books series nearly ten years ago. These small books are 58 pages long and each cover one topic or another of fascinating interest. They are profusely illustrated in an old-fashioned drawing kind of way and packed with information and history. By now, they have quite a collection of different subjects, many unusual, arcane or esoteric. Many I have no interest in and a few are out there on the fringe (Crop circles? UFOs? No thanks.). There are a number of them that I have found quite good. And here they are.

If your interests lie in the underlying patterns and math that describes our universe, Symmetry: The Ordering Principle, Sacred Geometry, The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret, A Little Book of Coincidence and Sun, Moon & Earth will give you endless paths to explore.

If archaeology and ancient history is more your style, Stonehenge, The Mayan and Other Ancient Calendars, Glastonbury: Isle of Avalon and Leys will allow you to begin your world exploring from your home.

This is like having a library of forgotten knowledge at your fingertips. Ideas and places that most people have no clue about. When they do crack the covers, they may be surprised that there are far more interesting things to be learned not on their phone or television.

Sometimes epic journeys start with small steps.

Categories: Ancient Sites, Books, Forgotten Places, Nature | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Disasters: Could you Survive?

Ancient history is full of disaster accounts: Floods, comets, volcanoes. Cities wiped out. Earth seemed much more chaotic back in the day. Have we simply been lucky or just have been in a dry spell? Check out these possibilities: California Superstorm, Poison Clouds From Space and America’s Potentially Most Dangerous Earthquake Zone.

Maybe being prepared for something other than the next snow storm is not such a bad idea? Would today’s pampered, unprepared people survive “biblical” disasters? Or are you going to wait for the government to come save you? Perhaps you could take control of your own future: Ready.gov & Prepare.org.

Categories: General, Nature | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Lost Worlds

Even here in the 21st Century, we are still finding lost or forgotten worlds. It’s amazing that these giant cave systems have survived countless ages of geologic activity. Funny, though, how many lack any significant remains of human activity. On the other hand, there are legends like those in South America that claim there are many hundreds of miles of subterranean tunnels once used by the Incas to hide from their enemies and stockpile gold.

Categories: Forgotten Places, Legend, Nature | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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