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.
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!
The responses to Wren’s post on why preppers prep raised another question in my mind. How many people know you’re a prepper?
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not very open with my prepper lifestyle. Wren is one of a handful of people in my offline life that know about my prepper passions. Most of them consider it to be an eccentric hobby (at best). I’ve never told my coworkers because I don’t want it coming up in office discussions. Most of my friends don’t know, although I’m not even sure if they know what a prepper is, so that would require an entirely different type of conversation.
In my experience many preppers, especially those of us who live in urban areas, avoid revealing this side of ourselves for fear of what others will think. It’s like middle school all over again – even if you can’t the most popular, you definitely don’t want to be the weird one.
I do know a few people who have publicly embraced their prepper personas, and I respect them for that. At the end of the day they’re being honest with themselves and with others, and I think they’ll be happier for it.
All that being said, I still don’t think I’m at the point where I’m willing to go public. I’m still afraid of what others will think, of how it will affect my relationships with non-preppers, of the potential career implications. Hopefully I’ll get there one day, but that day is probably a few years down the line. So I guess it will depend on if we make it to that point.
The thing that I really struggle with in all of this is my family. They don’t know, and I’m not sure how they would react if they found out (I have a feeling it wouldn’t be 100% positive). I don’t want to tell them because I think they’re happier not knowing.
But this is where my prepper guilt kicks in. What if the apocalypse happens and I haven’t told them? What if they don’t survive? What if I could have made a difference in their survival chances by telling them?
For the moment my guilt is lessened by the knowledge that informing someone you think the apocalypse is going to happen isn’t enough. They have to prepare themselves and they have to want to survive. My family also lives on the other side of the country, so my guilt is also lessened by knowing that there would be little I could feasibly do to help them at the time of the apocalypse. But the guilt is still there.
How public are you with your identity as a prepper? What problems have you had in telling others about your lifestyle?
So even though I’m pasty-white enough to be a member of the Cullen clan (complete with the blonde hair and brown eyes) I’m not lying to you when I say I lived in China for awhile. I’ve lived many places and have been exposed to a plethora of cultures but for some reason everything is more entertaining to me when the Chinese do it.
Enter, the doomsday escape pod.
Well, Ubergizmo informs me that a Chinese business man from Yiwu, China has purchased what he’s calling “China’s Noah’s Ark.” While the bright orange orb looks nothing like an ark it is reportedly shock-proof, water-proof, fire-proof, radiation-proof, and built for two. The escape pod – though I’m not sure what the businessman thinks he’ll be escaping to – costs $236,000.
This is where my amusement ends.
All of these expensive escape gadgets are affordable primarily to those who have no hope of surviving anyway. I seriously doubt that this Chinese businessman – or very many other billionaires who could afford a similar escape pod, for that matter – would even know what to do once he survived the apocalypse. I mean really? All that money to live for one extra week? Just enough time to die from dehydration. Or, best case scenario, you survive in once-great city that’s not been tainted by radiation, have access to a limited food supply, water, and shelter but die from starvation over time, or an accident-induced injury. Joy.
And how many of us really have a chance of surviving radiation poising or a massive fire at our premisses? Sure, we blogged about what’s needed to survive nuclear war but the subsequent devastation is rumored to be near insurmountable. Areas that have experienced nuclear bombing are not fit for human habitation for decades.
I’m just saying – if you’re hoping to survive the apocalypse and be the last hope for man kind, don’t just buy fancy toys – have the foresight to learn some survival skills and figure out what you’re up against.
With the kick-off of the London Olympics on Friday night, complete with a rather apocalyptic NHS/giant baby scene, Wren and I have been discussing what the Games would look like in a post-apocalyptic world. The result is a cross between the Olympics, the Hunger Games, and a few other odd elements. Here’s how we see a few of the future events:
Track and field
A 400m sprint while being chased by zombies? I guarantee you that would see a drastic increase in record-breaking finishes. Other options include long jump over a pit of nuclear waste and attempting hurdles while being chased by wolves. Only the fittest will make it to the podium (if they’re lucky).
The post-apocalyptic world will most likely knowledge that, while it’s pretty awesome that some people can do backflips on a tiny beam and catch a ball while doing the splits, these aren’t very useful survival skills. That being said, the basic principles of gymnastics become much more relevant when taken outside the gym. Balancing on branches and vaulting over fallen trees anyone?
Again, a useful skill in a somewhat useless event. After the apocalypse and the disruption of the food distribution system known as the supermarket, archers will be much more highly valued than they are today. Shifting yet another event to the forest, the one that bags the most meat in a given amount of time wins.
Those thin blades with the safety tips aren’t going to do any real damage. Let’s see some proper swords and have the participants fend off a few zombies while they’re at it.
Of course, the apocalypse could also give rise to a whole host of new events. Navigating your way through an abandoned city, which presumably includes some undisclosed dangers, would be a nice addition. Fire-starting may not be the most exciting thing to watch, but then again neither is ping pong and being able to generate heat is a lot more useful.
The biggest challenge of hosting the post-apocalyptic games could be coping with the weather – if you think a little rain in London is bad, try holding beach volleyball with an uncertain monsoon or hurricane season. Or track events in the Midwest’s never-ending drought.
Whatever the challenges, the Olympics will probably overcome them; the Games have already survived their original “apocalypse” with the end of Greek civilization and survived to be reincarnated in the modern age. The next version could be even more exciting.
Motor city is well on its way to becoming known for something else: zombies. This seems rather appropriate, as Detroit (or at least large segments of it) have been referred to as a “zombie city” in the past few years. The housing best and steady erosion of the American car industry have left this once mighty municipality on the edge of fiscal disaster. What better way to pull themselves out of the budgetary hole than by adding real live zombies to the city.
You can start off by learning how to survive the impending zombie doom by taking a class at Michigan State University. “Surviving the Coming Zombie Disaster – Catastrophes and Human Behavior,” offers a psychological perspective on how people will react during and after the apocalypse. This insight into the human mind could be invaluable during the real apocalypse, allowing you to spot those who will thrive and the members of your party that may be slowly driven insane under the stress.
A deeper understanding of human behavior and the habits of those around you could also be extremely useful in identifying the small changes in behavior that indicate the early effects of the zombie virus. Never underestimate the usefulness of being able to identify a potential zombie before they have a chance to attack.
Once you’ve completed the class, you will hopefully be able to put your new skills to the test in Zombie Land. Entrepreneur Mark Siwak has big plans for the city’s abandoned neighborhoods – he wants to transform them into a live-action zombie experience. After being trapped in a large area of abandoned buildings (factories, houses, etc.), visitors to the park will be chased by “professional” zombies (no word yet on when the hiring for zombie positions will begin).
Visitors will be forced to fend for themselves by hiding in the abandoned buildings. As of now, the park is still in the concept stage, so it is unclear if it will be a multi-day (and therefore night) experience. It is also unclear if the visitors will have any means to fend off a potential zombie attack.
We’ll continue to monitor the developments of Zombie Land closely and report back on any news. Until then, enjoy your weekend and avoid what has the potential to be another heat-related mini-pocalypse.