I ran across this article a little while after the one I posted earlier today. Had to post a link to it.

Only quibble I have with his article is that he equates extinction of a “civilization” with it’s disappearance. In fact it won’t disappear anymore than Japan or Germany did after WWII. It will simply rebuild and reinvent itself as human beings have done throughout history.

Just as in war a lot of individuals will perish in the process but the survivors WILL rebuild. It will be harder since the low hanging fruit of natural resources like oil have already been plucked so the rebuilding will be slower and different than it was before. Hopefully what can be salvaged from the ruins of the old infrastructure will supply the first few generations to bootstrap the rebuilding process.

The actual historical and traditional values of our civilization will survive since values and traditions are not simply arbitrary behaviors plucked out of the air and imposed on society as some people want to believe.

They are behaviors and actions that enhance survival and that promote growth and peaceful existence of the society.

It’s encouraging to finally see more people starting to catch on to what many of us have seen for a long time now… that we have become so reliant on an increasingly fragile technological infrastructure that its failure will be more than an inconvenience and more like a catastrophic event.

I don’t believe for a minute that anything will be done to decrease that fragility. To the contrary I expect it to continue increasing and even accelerate.

It does mean however that as more people see the danger more people will start changing their own lives, moving to simplify, relearning skills and self reliance that have been forgotten so that when (not if) that technological Jenga pile falls there will be more people able to survive and have the mindset to start the rebuilding.

The Librarian


This story comes in the wake of the recent revelations that virtually every Intel and AMD CPU in use has a design flaw that makes all of your security and antivirus protection meaningless.

With hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of computers controlling pretty much every essential service and function of modern life it’s somewhat sobering to hear the manufacturers admit:

“Oops! We made a teeny little mistake and all of your CPUs are vulnerable to being hacked. You need to replace all of them.”

Hard to even get your thoughts wrapped completely around the scale of it.

The Librarian


The article I’ve linked below is not about what most of us would think about as a “collapse” or other catastrophic event. It’s about the effects of a Civil War in the U.S. which has been bandied about more in the last 6 months than any time since 1861.

Regardless of your political persuasion the consequences of such a war will be pretty horrendous for everyone involved and for the rest of the world as well

The most useful nugget of information to glean from it is the recognition of the complete vulnerability of the larger cities and how completely dependent they are on the rural areas of the country and on the transportation network for their most basic day to day existence.

Bottom line is that in the event of some kind of catastrophic event that requires you to become self sufficient the city is not the place to be. If you are a city dweller or on the periphery of one you probably need to devote a significant portion of your long terms survival plans on how you’re going to get away from there and where you’re going to go.

The Librarian


Sometimes using Faraday Cages can have negative consequences.

Still a good example of just how easy it is to fabricate a Faraday Cage and a demonstration of their effectiveness.

The Librarian

p.s. Also a good excuse to empty a bag of Potato Chips (crisps in UK and Australian slang). “No honey I’m not pigging out on junk food. I’m fabricating a Faraday Cage.”


I almost didn’t bother to post the link to this article because similar stories are appearing several times every week. I changed my mind after thinking about it a bit though.

I’m posting it not so much because the story is a new one or in any way unique but because these stories have become the new norm to the extent that they have become background noise and your eyes simply slide right over them.

Stop and think about that for a moment:
1.The quite real threat of a rogue nuclear power launching an EMP attack at the U.S. which has the potential to kill 80%-90% of the population.
2. The Federal government knowing about the potential consequences of an EMP event (whether solar or nuclear) and doing nothing even though the cost of hardening the U.S. power grid is almost trivial compared to the rest of government spending.

Contemplate a world where we have begun to simply take for granted that a little tin pot dictator of a 3rd world country (that is horrible even by third world standards) could, at a moment’s notice, kill 80%-90% of the U.S. population, destabilize the entire world and no one so much as bats an eye.

Almost makes you long for the comparatively comforting Cold War days when complete nuclear annihilation was a threat but was at least tempered by the fact that the players were all considered to be rational.

The Librarian


In the spirit of Thanksgiving (the old spirit many of us grew up with) I’ve added a New Category simply named Thanksgiving.

Back before we were all racist, sexist, genocidal, homophobic, classist oppressors and all the other names used these days to describe Americans…

Back before the Pilgrims were genocidal, racists whose came to American solely to commit genocide on the Indians (and oppress them while doing so)…

Many of us grew up back when Thanksgiving was a day to celebrate our ancestors seeking religious freedom and liberty.

We celebrated that liberty and that freedom to worship God and gave Thanks for the many blessings He has bestowed on us during the year while enjoying the fellowship of Family and friends.

In that spirit here are a dozen or so books from those times before hate overwhelmed our country.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Librarian


I spent most of this weekend between assembling an agricultural trailer and cleaning the shop and making bee feeders for the cold weather and making more bee feeders to be able to swap them each day after work.

It’s not really safe to open the hives to refill the internal frame feeders in cold weather so the quart jar front feeders make more sense. You can see when they are being emptied, with a spare set you can simply pull out the empty or partially empty one and swap a full one in. It also lets you record how much is being taken from the feeder which also gives you some measure of the population and activity in the hive without having to open it. Add to that a dozen already filled jars of sugar water ready to swap in as needed and it makes life much more convenient.

Having the shop cleaned up means I’ll have room to make more hive supers, bases and top covers this winter to get ready for doing some splits in the spring to increase the apiary size.

While NOT doing all of that I spent some time pulling more of the missing Scientific Americans (page by page) and compiling them into single PDFs. Still a fair ways to go but that it is so tedious I have not been as diligent as I should be in getting it finished.

But while working on those I ran across a small collection I had gathered together and then forgotten about so I thought I’d put it our for folks to enjoy while I continue working on the Scientific Americans.

So Hemp and Flax has been posted as a new Category.

It’s really a combination Category. Obviously in today’s culture with the Marijuana laws being liberalized there is more attention on Hemp for it cultivation as a drug/medicine. Not even going to get into a discussion about the good/bad regarding it’s use. That’s been debated for decades with no change in most people’s attitudes. I will point out that it was around and used for thousands of years before it was made illegal in the 30s and civilizations rose and fell for reasons other than smoking weed but think what you like either way. Prior to the mid 1900s widespread drug use was not really a major problem in most cultures though there are a couple of notable exceptions. That seems to be a feature of the modern industrialized world and expanding government.

For most of history the use of Hemp as a drug was a minor side benefit of growing the plant. It’s primary use was to produce fibre just like Flax.

Most importantly, from the perspective of people trying to rebuild and industrial society, is that Hemp is the source of fibres that have been used to make twine and rope for a long, long time. Interestingly during most of WWII my Grandfather and many other farmers in North Carolina were paid by the federal government to grow Hemp in place of his normal tobacco crops. Since the Philippines fell to the Japanese at the start of the war and the Philippines was the U.S. Navy’s primary source of rope the growing of Hemp in the U.S. provided the material needed to make rope locally as a replacement.

Flax, of course, was one of the earliest domesticated crops and has been used to make thread, twine, rope and cloth as long as people have been around. It goes without saying that in a world trying to rebuild after any kind of collapse that Flax will be an important crop.

Between Hemp and Flax fibres for rope twine, and cloth, Hemp seed as a nutritional supplement and the drug/medicinal uses both types of plants will likely be high on the list of ancillary crops once food crops have reached the point of providing food security. As food security becomes more ensured the ancillary crops to produce other products will become more common. Once food surpluses and trade grow it will become possible for some folks to specialize and concentrate on those ancillary crops to supply materials for production of string, twine, rope and linen.

So submitted for your approval… Hemp and Flax. How to grow it, cultivate it, harvest it and make stuff from it.

The Librarian