While I still have a good ways to go on the full Scientific American collection I’ve at least gotten the first 15 volumes of Series 2 completed.

They are posted and available for download.

I decided to go ahead and post them as ZIP files of each Volume since the individual issues are fairly small and with 26 issues per volume that’s a LOT of individual files. I zipped each volume into a separate ZIP file.

They’re roughly in the 200mb-300mb range so they are not too large and they are a lot more convenient to download this way.

I’m also looking for a complete index of the series because searching through 3000+ issues for an article on a specific subject is a bit onerous at best. Hopefully I’ll find a decent one that will make the collection more usable.

The Librarian


South Korea sees the existential threat of an EMP attack and is taking action to mitigate it’s consequences.

The threat comes from the long standing tensions between North and South Korea along with the North’s continued development of Nuclear weapons, and most importantly, it’s increasing belligerence.

North Korea has threatened for decades to “wipe South Korea off the map” to “destroy South Korea” and while that could just be typical North Korean rhetoric and hyperbole they now possess technology they never had before.

They have always had a massive army that get priority over the peasants (excuse me… I mean civilians) for food, clothing and shelter. They have for some time now possessed nuclear weapons. They’ve had missiles capable of delivering those weapons to short range targets.

However they recognize that using their army or conventional nuclear weapons would leave little but a smoking ruin south of the 38th Parallel.

With their development of EMP weapons they now how the capability of destroying the South Korean infrastructure, much of it’s military technology and rendering it utterly helpless to resist the North Korean Army simply driving in and taking power.

Since the technology level of much of North Korea, especially the southern half of the country, is really not much more advanced than late 1800s, early 1900s level an EMP would actually have little effect on much of North Korea.

South Korea which has a fairly advanced technological infrastructure would be devastated in the ways we have often discussed regarding EMPs, no power, no water, no transportation, no communications.

The physical infrastructure would remain intact except for the electronics controlling it. Much of the population would die from lack of access to water and food but somehow I don’t see that as being much of a concern to the leadership of North Korea.

On the bright side though, South Korea’s leadership has recognized the danger of an EMP attack by North Korea and is starting to take action to mitigate the effects of such an attack. Whether they waited to long is anyone’s guess.

Let’s hope their preparations are not put to the test.

The Librarian


Some more lessons learned from Puerto Rico and their application to the threat of an EMP event in the U.S.

A Solar Event like the Carrington Event is becoming less of a threat as the potential for humans to impose such an event through technology.

Unfortunately few of the lessons are ones that individuals can apply other than the kind of preparedness many of us practice anyway. It the lessons that apply to the infrastructure which have the potential to save millions of lives that are not being heeded.

But then, there are not votes in it so I doubt anyone is surprised.

The Librarian


Interesting article by someone who thought they were prepared for disaster when the storm hit Puerto Rico and what they experienced in the aftermath.

The observations of the behavior of others and their own experiences are useful information to folks who themselves want to be prepared for emergencies.

Four items struck me as of particular interest:

1. Communications Infrastructure Vulnerability
The high tech system like cell phone and internet were apparently the first to fail. Those are the system most people rely on today for information and the ability to communicate with others. I think he errs in believing that the older wired phone systems would be much better. While at one time they were very physically robust the old mechanical switches and electrical parts of the phone system have been replaced with computerized digital hardware which is, itself, just as vulnerable as cell phone and the internet.

Perhaps more attention needs to be paid to have older, more traditional means of gathering information such as short wave radios and a way to power them. For those who have the knowledge perhaps ham radio equipment? But at least a short wave that can be powered by a crank or batteries and some general familiarity with actually using a shortwave to gather information.

Many years ago before the internet I was an avid shortwave listener and found it fascinating to listen to news sources all around the world. Even today I still spend an hour or so in the evening every month or two just working through the dial, adjusting an antenna to see what is out there on the shortwave bands. Might be a fun and entertaining family activity on occasion… Shortwave Night. Radio Havana has some great Cuban music. Shortwave stations are free… well except for the price of hearing the propaganda of whatever country is hosting the station.

2. The Author WAS Prepared and Fared Well Compared to Most.
He points out that compared to most others he and his immediate group fared pretty well. They had power, water, food, shelter and, with some work, at least some communications.

3. Water Was Key
They had access to water and a way to purify it. He made note of the way that many other were stopping to collect spring water since the normal sources of safe water were gone. As it is often said “You can go 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water.”

4.The End Game
He and his immediate group seem to have finally been able to escape the situation there and flee to a part of the world which had not endured such devastation. Which immediately brings to mind, to me at least, what if they hadn’t?

I imagine decisions were made at the time based on the knowledge that soon they would be able to escape the situation in which they were in. I wonder how those decisions would have been affected if they knew they would NOT be able to escape the situation or that there was no where to which TO escape.

What if, as in the case of a solar EMP there was NOT A PLACE to which to flee and the situation they were in was the situation everywhere and for the indefinite future?

The Librarian


Well age and senility and perhaps just general stupidity strikes again.

Turns out that when I tried to copy the Scientific American files I was most recently working on to the Flash Drive I was preparing to send out I made a small error.

I had already copied them on a few days before into the Directory I put on outgoing drives to hold files in progress… and completely forgot I did so.

Normally that would not be an issue except that the Scientific American files are in the neighborhood of 30gb. So not without those files the Flash Drives still had about 50gb of free space. Plenty to hold a copy of the Scientific American files with a good bit of space left over.

Once I deleted the duplicate directories there is plenty of space for the foreseeable future expansion.

So an unnecessary exercise. Still nice to have the feedback so that when it DOES become an issue in the future I have some idea where to head.

The Librarian


FEMA Director Urges Americans to Develop “a true culture of preparedness” But No One Is Listening

Have to admit I’m stunned and impressed at the same time…

A Federal government employee, of FEMA no less, who openly states that the Federal Government can’t take care of and rescue everyone and that people need to look out for themselves…

Of course that’s something many of us have known for a long, long time and have pretty much given up hoping the government would figure it out.

It’s refreshing but I do have to wonder how long he will keep his job after saying something like that in public.

I’ve mad a note of the date of this story and I’ll be checking back with the FEMA site periodically to see just how long he remains in place. The entrenched bureaucracy in D.C. has a vested interest in Americans NOT believing they can take care of themselves and should rely on government to take care of them.

Someone in government openly stating the converse just seems to much like the protruding nail that someone will take a hammer to as quickly as possible lest his ideas spread.

I’ll be watching to see how long he remains or possibly recants his heretical statements.

The Librarian


I was copying file to a flash drive last night to send to someone this morning when I discovered a bit of a problem.

With the addition of the Scientific American collection the complete Library exceeded the capacity of a 256gb flash drive.

The collection is not complete as there are still a significant number of missing issues I’m assembling but even the ones I have push the Library beyond the room available on a 256gb flash drive.

So looking for your feedback on the best way forward.

The most obvious solution that comes to mind is to start using Portable Hard drives instead of flash drives.

Portable hard drives are available in a wider range of sizes at reasonable prices since smaller hard drives (i.e. under 500 gb) are in wide supply at low prices.

The next step up from a 256gb flash drive is a 512gb and the prices on those are in the $200+ range.

So I’d like your feedback and opinions. Portable USB hard drives? Multiple flash drives?

The Librarian

p.s. I’ve also removed the Flash Drive option to buy a copy of the library for the time being.


When I first posted the Scientific American (First Series) I mentioned that some of the Issues were missing from some of the Volumes. They were missing from several of the sources which I used to collect them.

When I started doing a more in depth search today I found a collection at Cornell University which seems to have the missing issues.

Unfortunately Cornell does not store them as PDF files, like most libraries do, but as individual GIF image files for each page. That means downloading every page of a missing issue, converting each page to a different format then creating a PDF from the resulting images. Not hard just tedious.

Fortunately I have a collection of old TV episodes to watch while I work which helps relieve the tedium.

So the missing issues have been posted and each one has an annotation next to it in the index saying Updated. That should make it easy to grab the missing files if you’ve already downloaded the others.

I’ve been working through the New Series and have found a number of those missing also from all the sources I had been checking. I’m going to go back and start over and try to fill the missing issues from the Cornell collection. Tedious and slower but I think it’s worth having the entire set.

The Librarian


I’ve posted the first Scientific American Series which spans the period from 1845 to mid-1859. That comprises Volumes 1-14. They issued one each week so generally 52 issues each year. In mid 1859 they cut volume 14 off at issue 42 and started a totally new series with a new issue every 2 weeks for 26 a year.

There are a few issues missing in some of them such as Volume 6 which I couldn’t find at any of the sources. I’ve added those to my “Missing” list which I periodically check for.

I’m working through the rest of the volumes and will post them in sections as I get groups of them finished. The newer series runs through Volume 99 and there don’t appear to be as many missing from those as from the First Series.

The Scientific Americans are particularly nice since they delve into what was, at the time, new emerging technology and try to explain it in terms that common readers would understand. For those of use looking at books on 1800s technology these are extremely useful since they can help make sense of some of the technology which we are not familiar with yet would like to learn.


The Librarian