Thursday, February 28, 2013

Deadly coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus

Deadly coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus

European scientists revealed the new virus easily infects the cells of the airways of the human lung.

In fact, the new coronavirus is as adept at infecting the cells of the upper airways as two cousin viruses -- the one that caused SARS and one that causes common colds, the new study reported. All three are members of the coronavirus family.

The World Health Organization has tweaked its definition for the new coronavirus, in what appears to be an attempt to ensure health officials don't miss mild cases. That comes in the wake of the discovery of a mild infection in a British resident related to the person who just died.

Read more at CTV News: New coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus

Credits: Image source

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Could you survive an asteroid impact?

Could You Survive an Asteroid Impact?

Last week a once in a lifetime surprise meteor flashed across the sky and exploded in a fireball above Russia, causing a shock wave that shattered windows and injured over 1000 people. At the same time asteroid DA14 went flying past the Earth at a record-breaking distance of about 17,000 miles from the surface.

The Earth gets hit every day but now and again we get hit by a big one. Could we survive a hit like the one that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Some say we could not survive such a hit but I say we can.

We don't really know the effects of a big hit. But if we are to believe what some Scientists tell us then we can assume that the surface of the Earth will be almost completely sterilized by the fires that will consume every thing that will burn. The air will become super heated to perhaps 800 degrees. Earthquakes will rock the planet and giant waves will flood the coasts. Then the planet will freeze for several years due to lack of sunlight. But people can survive all that. They just need to be underground.

Every day all around the world thousands of people are underground at any given moment. Thousands of people work in mines and underground government bunkers. Many thousands more are riding in subways or train or road tunnels. Several hundred or perhaps even a few thousand peppers have underground bunkers they can access.  And don't forget the hundreds of men who are deep under the ocean in nuclear subs all the time. So we can expect many thousands of people to survive the blast and the heat. Now we just need to feed them. So how do we feed people when the earth is one big sterilized cold dark rock? We will eat things that most people would not consider eating now.

We know that many lifeforms survived the event that killed the dinosaurs. Animals that lived under ground and under water were protected from the heat and the blast. And the same kind of animals can survive the next big hit, Animals like mice and rats and earth worms would survive and they may in fact be quite plentiful as the disaster may provide them with lots of dead cooked stuff to eat. The impact will also kill all the larger animals that would normally prey on them. I know it may sound unpleasant but rats, mice, and worms are really nutritious and they don't taste bad if you can get past the idea of eating them.  Think alternate food sources!! Survivors would also be able to find insects and a few species of animals that live in the water such as Fish, crocodiles, turtles, frogs and many more.

Human beings are not designed to live on a diet of meat only so any survivors would also need to find a source of plant matter. Finding the necessary plants on a world that has been scorched may seem impossible but it may in fact not be. The roots of many plants are edible and may survive the initial high temperatures.Water plants may survive for some time until the coming cold temperatures and lack of sunlight kill them off.

Long term survival in such a hostile environment will be difficult. It could be many years before sunlight returns to levels sufficient for agriculture. However humans are amazingly adaptable creatures and our ability to use whatever we can find to our advantage should serve us well. For example our ability to scrounge things like glass from the wreckage of civilization and build greenhouses to grow plants sooner than nature would otherwise allow.

So with a little luck and ingenuity humanity might just survive an asteroid impact.

Credits: Image by idea go at

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Could a deadly virus wipe us out - are we rolling the dice?

Credits: image by Stuart Miles on
Leading virologist Professor John Oxford, from the University of London, says such an outbreak may not be as unlikely as we think. 

A pandemic could kill us all if it gets hold. The symptoms of the new SARS-like coronavirus are a serious cough, a shortness of breath and a rise in temperature. 

Unfortunately, this sounds like the average common cold. But it kills and it can spread

Read more:

Technorati Code: JE9H5JYR9U6E

Friday, February 22, 2013

NCoV Is Lurking In The Shadows

 NCoV Is Lurking In The Shadows
Another person has died from novel coronavirus, or NCoV, This virus was unknown in humans until last year when it suddenly popped up in the Middle East.

There have now been 13 confirmed cases (and probably a few unconfirmed) worldwide, including in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain.

Credits: image from

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bond Arms Snake Slayer or Perhaps Zombie Slayer

Zombie Apocalypse Survivor: Bond Ams Snake Slayer Gun
I just picked up my new Bond Arms Snake Slayer (Well ok its my Wife's) I wont go into too much detail as you can find plenty of info and reviews on line and I see no point in repeating all that. So I will just concentrate on the anti Zombie potential of Snake Slayer.
In brief the Snake Slayer is a cool little .410 shotshell/.45Colt pistol. It looks like an old fashioned Derringer but its made to modern standards and is bigger than the original Derringers.  I should also say that you can get it in many other calibers just by swapping out the barrels but its the .410 shotshell/.45Colt that we are talking about as that's what I have.

As an anti Zombie weapon the Snake slayer has a few problems. I will get them out of the way first so we can talk about all the good features of this gun.


1) Limited to 2 shots. Because its in the style of a Derringer it only holds 2 rounds and reloading is quite slow. The best reload time I can get is about 10 seconds. Someone younger and faster could probably do a little better but its still slow. When surrounded by hoards of the undead 10 seconds is an eternity.

2) Single action. As the Snake Slayer is single action you need to manually cook the hammer for each shot and that will also slow your rate of fire down a tad.

3) Bad sights. The sights on this little gun are just not that great. The rear sight is small and as the gun is all one colour (stainless steel) I find it quite hard to get a quick sight picture. However to be fair the gun is intended to be used at extremely close range so the sights are just a guide.


Now for the good stuff.

1) Quality. The Snake Slayer is well made. It's a solid hunk of stainless steel that just looks really good. It feels like with a little care it would last a lifetime.

2) Reliability. I have found it quite reliable. I have had no issues with any brand of ammo that I have used. In fact I have had no misfires or any failures at all. I should say however that the gun has only had 250 rounds through it so something may crop up yet.

3) Its versatile. This gun is really a little tiny shot gun and as such its very versatile. With a simple change of shells you can go from shooting small animals like snakes or small birds to defending yourself from larger attackers like dogs or Zombies. A blast of .410 buckshot is devastating at close range. And with slugs or .45 Colt you can extend your range out to a considerable distance. I found it easy to ring a 12 inch steel gong at 60 yards from a seated position. I was able to hit it a few times from a standing position as well but I found it difficult. I should also mention that after about 5 shots it started to get a little hard on the hand. The recoil with slugs is managable but some may find it a bit much.

4) Easy to use. Its a really simple gun to use. Push the safety. Cock the hammer. Pull the trigger.

5) Safe. Because its so simple to use I believe it would be a gun that lends itself to safe use. The safety is large and simple and easy to use. Its a single action so one must cock the hammer before you can shoot it. It also has a rather stiff trigger pull that makes it hard for someone who is in a stressful situation to have an accidental discharge. You have to pull the trigger hard to make this gun go bang.

6) Easy to carry. At about 22 oz it's a nice easy gun to carry around. Yes you can find lighter guns but when you combine the light weight with the firepower of .410 buckshot its a nice carry gun.

So to sum it all up the Snake Slayer may not be the best Zombie gun but in my opinion its a handy little gun that would make a great back up gun or a good carry gun for most self defence situations. Just not hordes of the UnDead.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Print A Plastic Gun on a 3D printer.

In the last few months much attention has been given by the media about the possibility of printing out a working firearm on a home 3D printer. Some say its the next big thing. Some say it cant be done. Well as with most things the truth in fact is some place in the middle.

In simple terms it is possible to print a complete and fully functional firearm on a home 3D printer. However it will not be a particularly effective or reliable weapon. The simple reason for this is the limitations of materials available for use in home 3D printers and the poor print quality of most of the printers.

In simple terms home 3D printers print in plastic and plastic is just not that great of a material for making firearms. Firearms generate a lot of pressure and a lot of heat. And plastic is just not that great at dealing with pressure and heat.

The first generation of 3D printed firearms will probably be simple single shot firearms firing low power ammunition. Most of us have seen the plastic flare guns people have on boats. Well that flare gun is a firearm. The second generation will probably be something like a simple single action revolver. This gun will also fire low powered ammunition. The first generations will also probably be smooth bore firearms. It would not be possible to make a rifled barrel out of the plastics we have now for home 3D printers. The heat and pressure would strip the rifling out with the first shot. But rifling is not that important in a hand gun as your target is probably only 5 or 10 feet away. I suspect we are 10 or 20 years from people being able to print off something much more sophisticated like a Glock or an UZI.  

A plastic Flare Gun like the one in this photo with a few design modifications would be capable of firing low power ammunition like .22 or perhaps .32 The heat would cause extensive barrel erosion but as its a single shot firearm you would probably only get to fire one or two shots before the fight was over anyway.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cheap Way to Collect Soap - a Necessary Survival Item

 Image courtesy of Marin at Free Digital photos
Wouldn't it be great if we could still have running water, soaps and towels during the Apocalypse? It's not gonna happen like that but we can still find ways to keep clean.

In fact it's important to stay clean to ward off disease. Disease can kill many of those who have stored enough food and water to keep going.

If you don't consider cleanliness, you're doomed. You'll end up with lice, scabies and other contagions brought on by being dirty.

Someone gets the flu, or a cold or something worse - guess what? You want to stop the spread of those germs and the first defence is hand washing. Of course you also want to be able to wash your entire body as often as possible to avoid skin contagions.

Yes you'll probably buy soap (bars, liquid, dish etc) and store some with your food supplies but have you thought about what happens when your supply of soap runs out? Do you know how to make soap? Do you have the ingredients for making soap? Do you know what plants, if any, grow wild that can be used for soap?

4 months worth of soap bits
I don't know how to make soap and the one plant I know of that can be used as a soap substitute doesn't grow in our area. So I need another plan.

I won't pretend I have the perfect backup plan. I don't. But what I do have is almost 150 bars of hand soap which my wife buys on sale whenever she sees it.  We also have about 10 bottles of liquid soap requiring no water. Guess what? It's not enough! But it becomes a toss-up on a limited prepper budget as to whether that bag of rice is more important than several bars of hand soap.

Since we like to figure out how to add to our survival stores without going broke, my wife and I save all those little nubs of soap. You know the ones that get to be about the size of a quarter or smaller and so you toss them out? Well, we started saving ours last year. Wish we'd thought of it sooner!

Everyone in our survival community (certain family members) is saving their soap ends. You will be amazed at how quickly it grows. And we'll be darn glad to have it when our full-size bars of soap run out!

So don't overlook budget ways to gather supplies you will need if there is a long-term emergency. Start saving those soap bits now! My wife puts them in a soap dish until they dry out then she tosses them into a ziplock bag. We have 4 ziplock sandwich bags full now. Doesn't sound like a lot but that's from only 2 of us in the household.