Friday, December 11, 2009

Lifesaver Bottle Water Purification System

Not that we get a lot of water purity problems here in California, but this would have been REALLY useful for the people who had to suffer and wait 5 days for water when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. In fact, emergency hurricane situations and the persistent condition of dirty and diseased water in third-world areas is what inspired the creator of this system.

Anyway this is an awesome invention. The simplicity of use, capacity of use, and ability to filter any waterbourne virus or bacteria is really amazing. Just probably won't desalinate or remove chemicals.

The maker sets up options to purchase and send these things to donate to disaster victims as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Greening the Desert

Amazing video of how permaculture can actually de-salt and green even a desert.

I Wish I Owned Land

I really wish I owned land...
My backyard lawn does absolutely nothing but suck water and nutrients from the earth it sits on running up my water bill. I wish I could dig it all up and turn it into a beautiful living, self-sustaining, food-producing garden. It's been so long since I got my hands dirty and planted or took care of anything, but I'm renting and can't do a damn thing to the land.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

The H1N1 Swine Flu Scare: Oh Noes!

This thing is kinda ridiculous.
On one hand we've got the media people blowing it way out of proportion and many people buying right on into that and getting all freaked out while on the other hand some people are completely oblivious and not taking it seriously at all.

The statement made by the President that this is "cause for concern, but not panic," is a very good way to put it.

So far this thing hasn't been any more deadly than the normal seasonal flu. Obviously you're going to want to cover your mouth when you caught or sneeze, wash your hands regularly, but that stuff is all common sense for any flu.

I'm more worried about what the government and citizens might do in an overreaction than I am about the actual flu itself.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well my employer today sent out an email to the company stating that we now have the option to
a) Take a pay cut
b) Take a sabbatical
c) Quit while you're behind

I'm definitely gonna opt for the first choice but this has got me a little concerned. I'm worried about the economy getting worse and I didn't expet it to start getting worse this soon. I'm not nearly as far along as I'd like to be towards being more self-sufficient and needing to rely less on money.

So far I've got a compost bin started but that's still going to take a while to really get going so I guess I'm going to probably just buy some compost to start me off with and start planting some food in my garden so I can reduce my food costs.

Just growing the little things we use in our cooking all the time will really help.
Garlic, onions, cilantro, peppers, maybe even potatoes and beans.

I'm probably going to consider cutting my cable if possible since all the shows I watch are streamed online now anyway.

This is all part of thinking like a prepper from a financial standpoint, I'm glad I've got the mindset and know what I need to do but I'm sorry that I'm not as far along toward making some real changes in my life as I'd like to be.

Oh well, hopefully the economy turns back around but honestly I don't think it will anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On Gun Rights

*Edit: Sorry for the false title initally posted. Fixed.Ugh! Work and having to think about moving into a new place has kept me rather busy.

Right now my thoughts have been dwelling on gun laws though.

I though of myself as fairly dissatisfied with both the liberal and conservative viewpoints, but leaning more toward the liberal side. This gun laws issue has brought me back to sitting between the two again.

Lately a lot of folks have been very concerned that President Obama is likely to make some "changes" to our gun rights. This has got people buying up whatever they can as fast as possible. I'm thinking of getting a handgun myself. I believe that denying people the means to defend themselves is atrocious, whether it was swords back in the day or guns today. To tell someone they can't have a weapon to defend themselves goes against our basic human rights since we were cavemen waving clubs around. Obviously some people (criminals) should NOT be allowed to have guns but I mean, does anybody really disagree on that issue? I really hope not.

I like this line from one of my favorite rappers, Talib Kweli where he says "Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve neither."

I still do believe that guns are terrible in general. It seems to me that it would take so much less guts to pull a trigger than it does to stab or slice somebody and in that sense I believe the mere existence of guns contributes to violence but I still don't think that the basic human right to keep a weapon should be taken away.

I really do hope the gun nuts are just being paranoid and that Obama or his administration really doesn't do anything, but really, I am strongly considering getting a gun for myself either way, just in case, because as one Jack Spirko often says, The more people that own them the harder it will be for anybody to take them away. (Obviously not in a sense that we'll shoot whoever tries but that we'll stand up for our rights.)

Anyway, Cheers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The Setup
I haven't published anything in quite some time because I've been extremely busy with work and in my off-time the last thing on my mind was blogging. However, among my New Years resolutions is a pledge to manage my time better, re-arrange and balance my priorities, and consequentially spend more time learning about practical skills, nature, survival skills, and lastly the topic of this blog, growing our own food.

Among the many systems of dependence we have, our dependence on others for food is among the most dangerous. If you think about the basic human needs you'll probably come up first with things like food and water, then maybe shelter(both housing and clothing) and so on.
The fact that if we were suddenly stripped of the convenience of restaurants and supermarkets to feed us, most of us would barely know the first thing about procuring our own food, is alarming and frankly should be a bit frightening to you.

Realistically that's obviously not going to happen, but there is something else just as dangerous going on right now, and has been going on for some time.

I would hope that by now most people know that the food you buy is largely in some way genetically modified. They may not have messed with a cow's genes through science but you can bet they at the very least bred them to have a high milk yield. I'm not even going to get into the treatment of most farm animals, that's something I could write another, very large blog on. But hopefully you also realize that the the healthy fruits and veggies you eat are quite different from what our grandparents and great-grandparents were eating. This too can be attributed to the way the plants are bred but there is something going on that I don't think most people know about.

The Meat of the Situation
Before I start let me make it clear that this is not some crazy conspiracy theory. It may be a conspiracy, but it's not a theory. Even our national news stations have tried to get this story out, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have been publicly exposed to the degree that it's had very much influence on people yet, partially because this company pays people off to keep thier mouths shut.

To get to the point, a company called Monsanto has been screwing with our food in ways that should give you legitimate reasons to be both scared and pissed, in ways that would require every one of us to be dependent on them for food and be absolutely incapable, even if we tried, of producing our own food, which goes WAY deeper than a violation of HUMAN rights, and enters the realm of being a crime against any and all living creatures.

For a very long time they've been going to work on the agricultural industry, modifying agricultural products to have a high yield, which sounds good if that's the only part you hear. Unsurprisingly that's the only part they advertise. The rest of the story is that they genetically modify many of these fruits and veggies to work hand-in-hand with the pesticides which Monsanto also owns patents on.

They actually started as an insecticide company, and have worked with their plants to make them work together with the insecticides they produce. The genes sequences in their plants are then patented so they own it indisputably.

They also work toward creating crops that stop producing after X number of yields unless they are treated with the right chemicals, in order to make sure they're constantly collecting royalties, and to make sure people don't take their patented plants and grow them independently without giving Monsanto any money. By genetically engineering the plants to die after a time, Monsanto wants to ensure that anyone who wants to grow their plants have to keep buying the seeds and/or pesticides from them.

You've probably heard of the insecticide called Roudup right? Well that's the insecticide that they own, which they've genetically modified thier plants to NEED to be treated with in order for those plants not to kill themselves.

While that's pretty bad in itself that they're basically trying to dominate an entire industry, the fact that they have no way of controlling their crops is where it really goes over the edge. Thanks to the natural system of cross pollination, the pollen that naturally distributes through the air or is taken from plant to plant by bees and other pollen carrying birds and insects (or the wind) makes it so that the patented genes from Monsanto's plants will inevitably spread to the crops of independent farmers. Once this occurs and Monsanto's genes are present in the small farmer's crop, Monsanto now OWNS that farmers crop because his plants have Monsanto's patented genes in them. Bye-bye independent farmer.

And again, that's NOT a theory either. They have done this. They have ruined the livelihood of many farmers in this way already and successfully payed them off to shut up about it. Thank God not all of them take the money.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, the fact that the plant is made to terminate itself has the potential for that gene spreading to every one of those kinds of plants in the world, forcing the entire global population of lets say, tomatoes, to be not only owned by Monsanto, but impossible to be grown independently. Imposible for mother nature herself to even grow successfully without some kind of unprecedented and dare I say impossible natural mutation to fight it off.

Corn, Soy and Cotton are the crops Monsanto says are their three core focuses. So don't think you're safe drinking soy milk. You're still contributing to this company. Even the very clothes we wear, almost all made from cotton, is in danger of being completely controlled by Monsanto.
They're also after Beets and if you're wondering why you should care about beats, it's because that's where a very larger portion of our sugar comes from, not traditional sugar-cane.

Beyond plant-life, Monsanto has also been hard at work on bovine (cow) growth hormones that are harmful to humans. They've also tried to patent a gene in pigs that they claim to have developed through breeding which makes the pigs more meaty. The problem here is that this gene has been in pigs naturally for probably as long as pigs have been around. If Monsanto were allowed to patent the gene sequences they want, it could mean that some small farm in Europe who's pigs had this gene naturally would now be the property of Monsanto, requiring the farmer to pay licence fees to Monsanto.

I think this entry has gotten long enough as it is and hopefully you get the idea.

I've you'd like to know more about what this company is up to there are a TON of videos on YouTube about it. Below I'll provide a link to a series of videos concerning their attempts to patent pigs, which in it's "more info" section contains a multitude of links to videos about similar atrocities by Monsanto.