Big Mysteries

You only live once, and there are a lot of puzzles lingering from ancient times, and a few modern ones that also need solving. So I spend a fair bit of my time trying to determine answers.

I genuinely feel that these are the best solutions to date (and AFAIK they are original ideas), but clearly I am biased, so make up your own mind.

Still pondering:

A Safe Spot in Nottingham

For many conceivable shit-hits-the-fan scenarios, hiding underground is a good plan to have. Basements, tunnels and underground car parks are great, but even better is a massive cave complex. I mentioned the Louisville Mega Cavern in my book, and here’s another huge man-made underground hideout, this time in Nottingham, England – 500 caves, up to 1,000 years old:

City of Caves

Broadmarsh-map-650px

The family attraction that is now the City Of Caves was made possible thanks to the soft Sherwood Sandstone beneath Nottingham that allowed hand-carved cellars to be excavated and used as store rooms, factories, pub cellars, dwellings and even air raid shelters.  Most of the caves remain in private hands, and some were destroyed over time by various city developments.

By February 1941 86 caves in Nottingham were available as public shelters.

I haven’t been there yet, but I presume gaining entry in an emergency won’t be too difficult for a survivalist who has planned ahead. Safety from a meteor storm, nuclear strike, solar storm, supernova or whatever else takes your fancy.

Ultimate Responses to Bible Bashers

I learned all the below via NewsWeek

First of all, know the following:

  • the Bible wasn’t written by God, just humans
  • it has been translated from Greek to Latin to English, and often transcribed by illiterate folk
  • some of the Bible was added in many centuries later without permission
  • if you quote the Old Testament, you are basically being Jewish

The [original Biblical] manuscripts were originally written in Koiné, or “common” Greek, and not all of the amateur copyists spoke the language or were even fully literate. Some copied the script without understanding the words. And Koiné was written in what is known as scriptio continua—meaning no spaces between words and no punctuation… Sentences can have different meaning depending on where the spaces are placed. For example, godisnowhere could be “God is now here” or “God is nowhere.”

—-

Take one of the most famous tales from the New Testament, which starts in John 7:53. A group of Pharisees and others bring a woman caught committing adultery to Jesus. Under Mosaic Law—the laws of Moses handed down in the Old Testament—she must be stoned to death. The Pharisees ask Jesus whether the woman should be released or killed, hoping to force him to choose between honoring Mosaic Law and his teachings of forgiveness. Jesus replies, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.’’ The group leaves, and Jesus tells the woman to sin no more.

Unfortunately, John didn’t write it. Scribes made it up sometime in the Middle Ages. It does not appear in any of the three other Gospels or in any of the early Greek versions of John. Even if the Gospel of John is an infallible telling of the history of Jesus’s ministry, the event simply never happened.

—-

The whole concept of speaking in tongues – also made up and inserted at a later date…

—-

Sunday is the day of rest because a Roman Emperor wanted it to be so. The true Biblical sabbath is Saturday, as the Jewish folk acknowledge.

Christmas is the birth of Christ because of the same Roman Emperor wanting to match it to local pagan traditions. The Bible says nothing about the date of the birth of Jesus.

—-

The Bible does, perhaps, define homosexuality as a sin:

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Alongside many other sins, like lying.  Now if you look at the Old Testament, it is pretty rough on gay folk:

Leviticus 20:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

But as NewsWeek points out, if you want to use this Biblical passage, then you need to adhere to other aspects of that book, like being circumcised and eating kosher food – basically being Jewish. You can’t cherry pick condemnation of homosexuality and ignore the other decrees in the Old Testament.

In other words, Orthodox Jews who follow Mosaic Law can use Leviticus to condemn homosexuality without being hypocrites. But fundamentalist Christians must choose: They can either follow Mosaic Law by keeping kosher, being circumcised, never wearing clothes made of two types of thread and the like. Or they can accept that finding salvation in the Resurrection of Christ means that Leviticus is off the table.

The Bible actually condemns preaching:

Specifically, as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke of those who made large public displays of their own religiosity. In fact, performance prayer events closely mimic the depictions in early Christian texts of prayer services held by the Pharisees and Sadducees, two of the largest religious movements in Judea during Jesus’s life. And throughout the Gospels, Jesus condemns these groups using heated language, with part of his anger targeted at their public prayer.

Jesus is quoted as saying “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

“Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others.

Prayers should be a private thing:

Because God knows what someone needs without being asked, there is no reason for long, convoluted prayers. Therefore, Jesus says in both Matthew and Luke, people who wish to pray should only say the Lord’s Prayer.

Judgement of others is not allowed:

Jesus said, Don’t judge. He condemned those who pointed out the faults of others while ignoring their own. And he proclaimed, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

2 Corinthians 5:19, 21

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.

SUMMARY

  • After loving God, loving your neighbor is the most important thing
  • All sins are equal, and all will be forgiven
  • Prayers are meant to be private – preaching is not acceptable

 

Communicate When Mobile Networks Go Down

gotenna

goTenna isn’t marketed as a survival product – it is more aimed at situations like rock concerts when the mobile towers are overloaded.

It is a blue-toothed device that sends text messages using radio frequencies. And it does so via your cell phone.

  • iOS or Android: including phones, tablets and iPods.
  • Range: 1-6 miles, and up to 50 miles in high-altitude, line-of-sight scenarios
  • Battery: rechargeable, last 24 hours. Charge lasts for 18 months when off.
  • Weight: 2 oz or 56.7 g
  • Price: $150 for two pre-order. RRP will be $300 for two.

Now, I already have some good quality walkie talkies that would do a similar job. But they aren’t ideal. Firstly, I struggle to understand what people are saying (perhaps that’s just me…). Secondly, all the channels are an annoyance. And thirdly, it can be difficult explaining to someone else how a walkie talkie works, and for them to remember the instructions when a future disaster occurs.

While I like to think everyone reading this has a rendezvous point for finding family members in a disaster, that isn’t a foolproof plan – so I strongly recommend investing in a pair of these.

Advantages over walkie talkies:

  • Text messages have a longer range
  • No need to remember how it operates – just open the app
  • Messages are encrypted
  • Smaller and more convenient (considering you have your phone with you already)
  • Comes with offline maps!

Not shipping internationally yet, but when I get my hands on a pair I’ll make a review, maybe even a video!

UFOs: 4D Objects Slicing Through Our 3D World

My first preference for solving the UFO mystery is via Graham Hancock, who pointed out that the ratio of shamans in primitive (?) societies is the same as the ratio of Americans who claim to have seen UFOs, roughly 1%. That suggests that 1% of people are prone to hallucinations, or are in touch with other dimensions, or spirit beings, or somewhere in-between.

My second preference is that a UFO is a 4D object passing through our 3D world. Imagine living in a 2D world (flatland). All you can see is what occurs on a flat surface, for example one side of a sheet of paper.

Throw a ball hard enough to crash through a sheet of paper, and watch it from the 2D world of the sheet itself. As the ball first enters the sheet, it appears as a single dot. As it passes through, the dot expands to be a circle. Midway through, that circle is at its largest, and then it subsides down to a dot, then  back to nothing. It has totally disappeared, and we cannot see where it went.

3d-sphere-2d-plane

 

Similarly, a 4D object passing through our world will magically appear out of nowhere. It will grow in 3 dimensions, then reduce, then be gone without a trace.

UFOs are typically reported to defy the laws of our world. Most interestingly they change direction without slowing down. In the above sphere illustration, flatlanders would see an object change size in a way that is alien to them… UFOs get bigger and smaller, AND change direction. The directional change is how a 4th-dimension movement appears in our world.

If 4th-dimensional beings were studying us, whenever they get too close they could appear as UFOs, just as a finger pointing at an insect floating in water might sometimes break the surface.

Something perhaps telling is the entry points. Do UFOs appear in the sky because most of our visible world is above us?  If they came from the north horizon, and left via the south horizon, they wouldn’t change size, but they would appear to grow in size as they approached us, and diminish as they left. But this is normal for us when we watch an aircraft fly by – our brains adjust this for us.

If UFOs entered our 3D world from random directions, then we should see that the vast majority are high above us, and they grow and shrink dramatically. The few that move from horizon to horizon would change shape less. This is perhaps testable by looking at all recorded accounts. The higher they are in the sky, the more they grow and shrink.

Of course they could send us a message if they wanted to. We could send a message to Flatland by passing a set of pipes through their world that appeared to them as something like braille on the horizon. So they could definitely create a 4D object that spelled a message in our 3D sky, if they chose to.

Or they could give us a 4D impossible object in 3D. I know they can, because we can make a 3D impossible object in 2D:

3D-impossible

 

What would it look like? Not a Klein bottle, because that is a 4D possible object:

 

7-Klein-BottlesA

The impossible object could look like these – but for it to ever exist we will need a really good mathematician in our world, or intelligence in the 4D world (and it is quite likely there isn’t…)

impossible-4D

impossible-4Db

Paracord Bracelet with the Works!

I have paracord bracelets, but they will be relegated to some box or draw once my order for the Wazoo Adventure Bracelet arrives. To give you an idea of the quality, the tinder doubles as a wound dressing with 3 antibiotics in it.

Adventure_wazoo

Ideally you have much more in your go bag, and your go bag is always handy. But for when that isn’t possible or suitable, just wear a single bracelet, knowing that you have a lot of gear on hand.

 

2D, 3D and 4D – One Universe, Dark Matter Is Hidden in 4D

Required – Watch this first:

I am a fan of Occam’s Razor, probably best described as “other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones”.

There are two big mysteries in physics – the very different world of quantum physics, and the mystery of where dark matter resides.

I am not a physicist – I didn’t even study any science at university. My level of understanding on these topics is the average reader of popular science books, or New Scientist readers. I get the basics, but beyond that is a struggle.

Now – to the Eureka Moment – Two Major Puzzles, One Elegant Solution.

The easiest solution is for Dark Matter. We can’t see it, so it seems reasonable that it exists in a different dimension. There’s no need to think about 9 dimensions, or 32 dimensions, or multiverses or string theory! We just need one extra dimension in our universe – the Fourth Dimension.

No, not time. A fourth spacial dimension. The answer can be explained in a simple sentence – dark matter resides in a fourth spatial dimension that we are unable to ever observe.

So… if we have physical properties existing in the fourth dimension, then it makes sense that they also exist in the second dimension.

We can’t observe the fourth dimension, and the second dimension can’t observe us. One of the key factors of quantum mechanics is observation.

We can see anything in the second dimension, but it will visually be 2-D. If the Great Wall of China was 2-D then we would be able to tell. It would be thousands of miles wide, tens of feet high, and have no depth. But what about atomic particles? They are so small can we even tell if they are 2-D or 3-D?

“Nobody has ever seen a particle” (2:45 in this TED talk)

Quantum  particles live in a second spatial dimension, and are operating under a different set of laws to ours.

I’m not qualified to describe those laws, but I feel it is enough to say such laws are most probably quite different to ours.

Evidence

Proving that we can’t see dark matter in the 4th dimension is impossible. The only thing on my side is that the longer we go without finding dark matter, the more likely I am correct.

Showing that quantum objects are in the 2nd dimension should be possible one day as technology progresses.

One possible spanner in the works is this news item:

A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving.
Largest ever quantum state object

[The current record seems to be for an object as large as a grain of sand]

I can only suggest that although this is a relatively big object, it is actually a collection of identical particles that are each 2-D. It is possible to create a 3-D object from numerous 2-D objects. It could well be that as long as the collected objects are all identical, quantum rules still apply.

In nature such objects – collections of identical particles – don’t exist?

 

The Original Purpose of Stone Circles

 

stenness

I have just been watching the first episode of Sacred Wonders of Britain, and learned that the individual stones of the Standing Stones of Stenness are all very individual. Different sizes and shapes, but importantly quarried from individual places. It suggests that each village or family brought their own stone to the party. And that’s the earliest known stone circle…

Often rituals start out as having a functional meaning, and end up as just a representation. Perhaps stone circles began as a giant handshake of sweat and effort, and I can’t think of a better symbol of peace. If my forefather’s family or tribe put in thousands of hours of sweat labour to help create a monument of cooperation, who am I to to disrespect it with a minor disagreement. We still say today, written in stone, and I feel stone circles were originally a peace pact, a contract in stone.

With time the stone circle would have become more symbolic, and less actual. It perhaps became a symbol of a fraternity, even if all the stones came from the same quarry. The important aspect is that each stakeholding group took part in the build. This idea could even explain the pyramids of Egypt.

So it is possible that the celestial alignments of stone circles were secondary to the pact – someone suggested that all the effort could be used to create an extra, beneficial dimension to the circle.

I still can’t help but think that the driving force was the Mysterious Elders – who had an ulterior motive for uniting the locals.

It makes sense that funerary practices are associated with ancient circles, barrows and henges  - the sites themselves represent the deeds of the forefathers set in stone. It is fitting to inter your loved ones in the same location.

So here is the hypothesis: megalithic structures are an embodiment of a peace pact between local groups. This idea is more feasible when you learn that the demise of megaliths coincides with the demise of peace.

Generalising in a major way, pre-2000 BC there was peace pretty much everywhere (there is only one known war before 2670 B.C.), and then with new technology wars became commonplace. Pre-300o megaliths were a major part of society, because they represented peace. But when weapons became easy to acquire, the ugly sides of humanity were launched. And megalithic structures faded away.

Ebola x Natural Disaster = ?

cholera

Survivalists know that one of the problems with natural disasters is the potential spread of disease. In places like the USA and Europe, when a local disaster strikes aid from outside of the disaster zone usually arrives quite quickly – the health problems caused by Hurricane Katrina were minor.

Yet in other locations health problems following a disaster can be substantial. The Haiti earthquake of 2010 killed an estimated 100,000 people. The resulting cholera outbreak caused the deaths of an additional 8,000 people, “and hospitalized hundreds of thousands more while spreading to neighboring countries including the Dominican Republic and Cuba.” [Wikipedia]. More than 6% of Haitians have now had the disease.

So we have two areas of concern:

1. A natural disaster in West Africa could mean that Ebola goes from spreading fast to unstoppable.

2. A natural disaster in the western world could mean we go from struggling to stop an outbreak happening to an outbreak big enough to cause mass panic and a shutdown of society.

The odds are of course low that a country like the USA would have a natural disaster at the same time and place as an Ebola outbreak. But it is the possibilities that preppers prepare for, not the likelihood.

 

Prepping For Ebola

2012 (Mayan doomsday) was a great excuse to prepare for all the unpredictable global catastrophes that could happen any time.

marburg

[Marburg? - see below]

Scientists have been warning us that a global pandemic is overdue, and Ebola could become a pandemic – based on its progress to date. This is also a great excuse to prepare. Even if you were convinced that your local health authorities will be able to protect you from Ebola, surely there is enough lingering doubt to inspire you to store away some food and water?

How Real Is The Risk?

We keep being (officially) told that Ebola is not airborne, and can only be spread via direct contact with bodily fluids. That sounds reassuring, unless you did deeper….

First of all, Ebola patients have a tendency to vomit – that’s a lot of sudden, random, bodily fluid going all over the place. This regularly occurs before Ebola is diagnosed.

Yet health professionals who are taking great precautions are also catching Ebola. The most vivid example is the nurse in Spain who was reportedly wearing the correct protective gear. It is almost as if Ebola has mutated and become airborne.

Well, it kind of has.

This information is via ThreatJournal.com – I strongly recommend subscribing to this unique service:

Though public health authorities and government officials publicly state that Ebola is not airborne, there are a multitude of published, peer reviewed studies firmly establishing transmission of the Ebola virus via aerosols. The general difference between airborne and aerosol transmission rests, in large part, on the size of the particles and thus, how long they can remain suspended in the air.

Threat Journal cite 5 studies showing Ebola being spread via the air – here’s one example:

Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7547435

And there is this from the  Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota:

“We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.”

Unfortunately many health professionals are dying because they used the minimum protection suggested by their superiors.

Snowball Effect / Death Spiral

When Ebola arrives in your country, and it is quite likely it will – if not now, then later – how will your fellow citizens react?

Hopefully it will be in a more educated manner than we have seen in Africa, where we have seen people breaking Ebola patients out of hospital due to fear, rumour and poor education.

The best example we have so far, in the western world, is parents pulling their students out of schools in Dallas:

Among the 12 people being closely monitored were five children – who attend four area schools. Panic-stricken parents in the area pulled their kids out of classes after they received Ebola fact sheets and notes which said ‘everything is fine’. Schools were also scrubbed down and extra nurses brought in to monitor any students with fevers or flu-like symptoms.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2777788/Panicked-parents-pull-kids-school-s-revealed-Ebola-patient-Texas-throwing-place.html#ixzz3FeOjW7sF

That’s four schools affected from one patient. Once cases multiply, more and more schools, social venues and workplaces become too risky for some. Before long a sneeze is enough to clear out a work building. Many workers will decide that they should stay at home, even though nobody at work has yet been diagnosed.

How many workers staying at home causes society to shut down?

When society shuts down, people will run out of food. That of course leads to social unrest and violence. In a British survey, 40% of respondents said if Avian Flu arrived locally, they would not go to work.

http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/boss%C3%ADs-beware-survey-shows-commuters-won%C3%ADt-be-travelling-when-avian-flu-hits

Maybe that won’t be a problem for banks (unless there are mass panic withdrawals) and insurance companies (unless there is a spike in health and death insurance claims), but what about supermarkets struggling to deal with demand, or hospitals, or key government agencies? As an extreme but possible example, what if the Minister for Health is scared and in hiding?

The point is, we just don’t know how it might play out. The last significant pandemic was more than 100 years ago – in WW1 more soldiers died of the flu than from battles – and communication and awareness were a tiny fraction of today. They certainly didn’t have Twitter spreading facts and rumours.

Worst Case Scenario

Everything about society that you rely on could end. Supermarkets could run out of food. The police and armed forces could lack the manpower to deal with the spread of disease. Your neighbours could refuse to speak to you. Trust in information from the government could fade. Rumours of a more readily-spread, mutated Ebola could become rife.

What Should You Do?

First and foremost you will need enough food and water to see out the pandemic. That could mean 6-12 months or more. The good news is that bulk bottled water, bulk rice and pasta, bulk tinned tomatoes and vegetables, spam, jam and homey are not only quite cheap to acquire and easy to store – if nothing bad happens you can still consume them at your leisure.

The other part of the equation is avoiding infection. For many people there will be occasions where contact with the outside world will be necessary. I propose that a member of your group – in my case it is me, the father – is isolated from the rest. You can still converse from a distance, you can still drop off essential supplies, but you will be doubly certain that any illness won’t be passed on to your loved ones. Living in a tent isn’t so arduous if it means your family are safe.

Oh yeah, get some face masks. They are cheap in bulk from places like eBay. When the pandemic kicks in, it won’t be weird to wear one. Japanese folk currently wear them to stop spreading the common cold…

Good luck and fingers crossed that it has peaked already.

(in which case we can start worrying about Marbug – very similar to Ebola and breaking out in Uganda right now…)

Postscript

Hide from the authorities. If you believe you are infected, hand yourself in. But if you aren’t infected, paranoid government officials could still imprison you with many infected people, and you could become collateral damage.

Quarantine fails when an infected person is placed in a group of uninfected people…

Read more here:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/during-an-ebola-pandemic-all-of-your-rights-would-essentially-be-meaningless