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  • March 29, 2011

    Lost Hiker Found Alive-2

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    Julie Horgan, a 61-year-old hiker from Milton, Massachusetts, was found safe and without injury Sunday morning after spending a frigid night alone on Mount Jackson in New Hampshire.

    "Winds at the time were between 70 and 90 mph, creating blizzard conditions with near zero visibility," according to Fish and Game Lt. Doug Gralenski. "These were life threatening conditions."

    Search-and-rescue teams were out until 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and the search resumed at sunrise. Horgan was found just before 10 a.m. near the summit of the 4,052-foot peak where she had spent the night "holed up in the softwood."

    She was able to walk out on her own after the ordeal, accompanied by about two dozen search-and-rescue team members. She declined to comment on her ordeal, except to say, "I am deeply grateful" to those who searched for her.

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  • March 25, 2011

    The One Essential: Knife or Lighter?-3

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    Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed survival students ask me all the time what kind of survival knife I recommend for them. Their grin sags a bit when I remark that it doesn't much matter, as long as the steel is strong and it can hold an edge.

    I can see that the germ of their query was the notion that they could survive anywhere in the world as long as they had the proper knife. But as my years as a survival instructor have gone by, I’ve come to accept the idea that a lighter is the most important piece of gear in a survival situation.

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  • March 24, 2011

    Spring Wild Edible Plants-9

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    Our ancestors both hunted animals and gathered food in the form of wild plants. But when I ask people today what they would eat if they were stuck in the woods, they mumble something about hunting, snares, fishing, bugs and so forth. Very few people ever know what plants are available to eat or where to find them.

    That’s a shame, because wild edible plants abound in the northern hemisphere—especially in the springtime. Just think of all that food that cannot run, fly or swim away.

    Spring offers us a great variety of wild greens, shoots, tubers and roots.  Some of my favorites are dandelion greens and flowers; chickweed salad; spring beauty bulbs; trout lily leaves; and sassafras roots, which I use for tea and homemade root beer. These are delicious things, fresh from the wild. 

    But how do you know which plants are the right ones to pick and eat?
    Well, here are a few guidelines that will help you:

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • March 24, 2011

    Will Japan’s Fallout Affect the US?-0

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    Only time will tell if the jet stream will drag dangerous fallout to America from the nuclear disaster currently unfolding in Japan. This is little comfort to the Americans, Canadians and Mexicans on the West Coast, who could be sprinkled with radioactive particles from the Fukushima power plant. 

    The jet stream certainly isn’t doing us any favors this week, moving from Asia, dipping down into the Pacific, and rising up again to pass over Mexico, California and points east. 

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • March 22, 2011

    North Korea’s New Weapon-6

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    Imagine for a moment the chaos that would ensue if every cell phone, computer, vehicle, radio, television and nuclear power plant just shut down, all at once, with no warning. And now imagine that a mad man and enemy of the U.S. was wielding a weapon that could do just that.

    ABC News recently reported that North Korea is nearing completion of an Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb, commonly referred to as an EMP. It is believed by some experts that such a device, detonated in the upper atmosphere, would shut down all electronics for thousands of miles in every direction, if it could be detonated at sufficient altitude (25 miles).

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  • March 21, 2011

    Some Perspective on Radiation-0

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    There has been a lot of talk and worry about radiation blowing across the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear plants in Japan. It’s easy to get swept up in the panic and hysteria perpetuated by the media’s coverage of this story, as evidenced by the astronomical prices of potassium iodide tablets on eBay right now.

    But let’s take a deep breath and try to gain some perspective on how much radiation is actually bad for you. This handy chart breaks it down quite nicely. The chart’s creator is not a nuclear physicist, but he is a friend of a Senior Reactor Operator at the Reed Research Reactor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, so I’m inclined to believe that the information is pretty darn accurate, at least for the purposes of perspective. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 11, 2011

    UPDATE: Japan Disaster-3

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    A magnitude 8.9 earthquake off the shore of Japan unleashed a 30-foot-tall tsunami Friday, March 11, 2011. For hours afterward more than 50 aftershocks, the strongest measuring 7.1 and many over 6.0, rocked the nation. This was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on Japan's eastern coast. 

    So far, it's estimated that at least 6,000 people have been killed or are missing. The huge wave swept away boats, cars and homes that were already damaged by the quake.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • March 9, 2011

    Economic Terrorist Attack-0

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    Investors and speculators have really been fretting about the possibility of a drawn out civil war in Libya and its impact on oil supplies. They’ve been fretting so much that oil traded at about $105 per barrel on March 7, the largest rise in price since 2005. This fretting also translates to an "ouch factor" of over $3.50 a gallon at the pump, and it is expect to rise further.

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  • March 8, 2011

    The Yellowstone Caldera: A Disaster Waiting to Happen-0

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    Generally, volcanic activity is low on most people's radar for emergency preparedness, unless you live on the island of Hawaii where it is a constant. In fact, on 5 March, a new Volcanic vent opened violently on Kilauea in Hawaii, one of the world's most active volcanoes.  This vent spewed an impressive fountain of lava up to 65 feet high. 

    Not so unusual, since Kilauea has been in constant eruption since 1983. There are benefits to these eruptions. Indeed, Volcanic activity has given us the beautiful islands where we love to vacation.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • March 3, 2011

    How to get out of town when things go wrong-0

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    Maybe it was Egypt a few weeks ago, or the capitol city of Libya, the news is choked with stories that suggest Northeastern Africa and the Middle-East are falling apart. 

    Sure, we can feel it Stateside, with our gas prices jumping 20 cents overnight on the East coast. But what if you or someone you care about is stuck somewhere and trying to get home? What if you were in Libya's capitol, Tripoli, trying to get back home as town after town are taken over by rebels and Islamist terrorists from Al Qaeda?

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