Seriously, not my first reaction, but ok.
NASA revealed it has identified a potentially dangerous near-earth astroid it anticipates could collide with our lovely planet in the year 2182. Even more perplexing, NASA has launched a contest, calling on students under age 18 from around the world to NAME the threatening astroid. Apparently NASA is hoping the contest will engage the next generation of scientists, inspiring them to pursue space science.
In addition to hosting the contest to name the astroid (currently known as 101955 1999 RQ36) the space agency is hoping to visit it with an unmanned probe that will collect samples of the space rock and return them home. The expedition is scheduled to launch in 2016, and is expected to cost at least $800 million. According to proponents of the expedition, samples brought back by the mission could help scientists unlock some of the mysteries of the solar system’s origin some 4.5 billion years ago, and the organic molecules that may have led to life on Earth. NASA is also planning to launch astronauts to an asteroid by the year 2025.
So there you have it. There’s an astroid heading this way. It could destroy out planet in 170 years. And NASA wants your children to enter a contest to name it. Please, for the love of polar bears, do not let this opportunity go by! Have your children submit a name!
I’m the first admit that this is a little disturbing, but I see this as a publicity opportunity for the prepper movement and encourage you all to draw attention to this potential apocalyptic event, perhaps even noting that this isn’t the only astroid on a near-earth trajectory (more to come on that). This may also be a good way to begin educating your children about what prepping really “means” and the types of events you are preparing for.
Full contest details can be found here.
With movies like Seeking a Friend For the End of the World and Zombieland coming onto the scene, I thought it might be prudent to remind ya’ll of some of the greats – the ones we ourselves have drawn inspiration from. Have a read – the films are listed in no particular order – and watch the ones which sound interesting to you. And definitely watch Tank Girl as it is bomb.
1. Tank Girl – It’s 2033 and, ever since a gigantic meteor hit the Earth, the world just hasn’t been the same. The decidedly dull world is under the control of a villain that controls all the planet’s water. All this changes however, when The Rippers (an army of mutant half human half kangaroo soldiers) and Tank Girl begin to upset the balance power.
2. Mad Max – In this bleak dystopian future, a ruthless bikeer gang rules the road, terrorizing everyone who gets in their way. Tables turn, however when the gang attacks Officer Max Rockatansky’s best friend and family sending him on a rage fuelled frenzy that sees him savagely hunting them down one by one.
3. Dawn of the Dead – One George A Romero’s original zombie movies, the film follows a group of survivors fleeing the zombie outbreak who barricade themselves in a mall and their ensuing struggle to build a new life.
4. Planet of the Apes – The original, please. You know the story – three astronauts crash-land on an unknown planet where they are eventually captured by Gorillas on horseback. The trio are taken to Ape City where they discover the apes are in control of the hunted or enslaved humans. It’s not until the end of the movie that we discover our heros actually crash-landed in earth’s future.
5. Waterworld – All the ice caps have melted and Earth has become a seemingly endless ocean, leaving the remnants of the population struggling to survive in a world without land. Our loner hero finds a young woman and a girl in his charge and off they sail, facing pirates and the open seas in search of hope.
6. A Boy & His Dog – In post-nuclear 2024, we follow Vic and his dog as they scavenge the barren wasteland of Earth for food and supplies. They eventually are discovered by a mysterious girl who brings them to an underground city that has flourished away from the radioactive surface. Unfortunately, things in the city are not as wonderful as they seem.
7. The Quiet Earth – Explores how a person can go mad when he realizes he’s the only one left on Earth following a terrible catastrophe.
Once you’ve established your food supplies and survival kit, the most important thing you can do is to protect it from the elements and Mother Nature’s other surprises. There’s no point in building up the perfect kit to get you through the apocalypse if you risk losing it all in the first bad storm or pest infestation.
Mice are a particularly annoying problem to have to deal with. They can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces and once they’re there, it’s extremely hard to get them to leave.
On top of eating through your well-thought out survival kit, mice can also spread serious diseases such as salmonella and hantavirus. For all of these reasons, your primary strategy should be to keep mice away from your survival site, and food in particular.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Sonic mouse repellents, while quite effective, are unlikely to work in a post-apocalypse situation with limited electricity. The battery operated ones will take up valuable space in your survival kit. A more low-tech option is to get a cat (preferably a good mouser, but the scent of any cat should do a decent job of keeping mice at bay).
Peppermint oil is also a good option – mouse can’t stand the smell of the stuff. Soak some cotton balls in the oil and place it near your food stores and in strategic locations around your survival site. You may end up smelling like a candy cane but it’s a small price to pay for keeping mice away.
The more likely scenario is that a mouse (or five) will cross your path at some point. To prepare for this scenario, it is critical to ensure that all of your gear – food in particular – is well-protected and properly stored. Food should be kept in containers so that mice can’t chew through boxes or other packaging. Plastic is clearly preferable to glass given the weight differential. As discussed in a previous post, coffee cans also make an excellent storage option and they can later be converted into mini stoves if required.
If you are using resealable plastic bags to protect your kit, again food in particular, I highly recommend double-bagging everything. This will ensure that you have a steady supply of plastic baggies for future use, and will significantly reduce the chances of mice smelling your precious food store (they are shockingly good at chewing through a single layer of plastic).
Once you discover that you have mice, thoroughly clean out the contaminated area. This should be done carefully to avoid any potential exposure to hantavirus, which can be spread in mouse urine and droppings. Once you’ve cleaned the area, add some peppermint oil-soaked cotton balls to remove the scent trails and deter the mice from coming back. You should also conduct a through search of the structure for holes, but don’t expect to find them all – mice are able to squeeze through ridiculously tight spaces. As a last resort you may want to invest in mouse/rat poison, although this is not recommended if you expect to have small children or other animals in your survival group.
While it’s not pleasant to think about, prepping for pests will go a long way to improving your survival odds (and it’s a very useful skill for this world as well).
As usual, the high-tech world is attempting to eradicate many of the problems facing modern society and unsurprisingly some of the world’s most innovative minds have come up with some sick gadgets that just may prove useful in the post-world. Be warned, these are all still prototypes, but they certainly address potential concerns we preppers may face when attempting to beat the odds.
Wearable clean air bubble:
This “dress” was developed as a personal air service for women to help provide cleaner air to the wearer. The University of Sheffield has been working on similar dresses which contain catalytic converters purifying the air around the wearer. The use-case for such technology is clear – in many apocalyptic situations the post-world air could be so polluted humans would be unable to breath it in. In such cases respirators and even bubble-dresses could be life-savers.
LED solar power necklace:
This necklace of light-weight solar panels gathers energy from the sun to light the wearer using incorporated LED lights at night. A few small modifications and this could be a multi-port, multi-cell charging unit for some of the gear mentioned in our first technology corner. Plus it looks pretty and everyone needs some pretty in their life.
I am honestly baffled that this even exists. It’s a laser pointer, video camera, and taser all rolled up into one sturdy and rechargeable package. Perfect for scaring competitors out of their whits or protecting yourself non-lethally at close range.
And that’s just a small sampling of what’s going on in the survival tech world right now. Stick around for more!