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Author Topic: Start panicking!  (Read 6933 times)

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Offline Drang

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Start panicking!
« on: October 19, 2012, 11:00:53 AM »
Well, maybe not...
Seen at Instapundit*: “Once in a Civilization” Comet to Zip past Earth Next Year | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network
Quote
After it loops around the Sun and forms this tail, the comet should then pass relatively close to Earth—not near enough to cause any worry, but close enough to put on a great show. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will get the best view as the comet blooms in the weeks approaching Christmas 2013. The comet could grow as bright as the full moon.
Oh, great. 
That article links to one at pass relatively close to Earth]Sky and Telescope[/url].

All the scientists are lpaying down any possibility of danger.  Of course, there's precedent for that...

*Which makes me wonder why no one else seems to have noticed...
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Offline CarolinaJoe

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 11:35:29 AM »
Indeed!  lol

The first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the headline was "Hammerfall!"


Offline Bonnie

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 12:07:46 PM »
We usually have cloud cover whenever something interesting happens in the sky.  :(
God bless,
Bonnie
Opportunity Farm
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"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10

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Offline pslblog

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 01:01:53 PM »
This is one of those circumstances that really rewards prepping. If a serious strike hits, it is less likely to be "the big one" required for successful novel concepts, and more likely to be a succession of small, localized disasters. Instead of turning the clock back to the 13th century everywhere, it is more likely that we catch a piece of something that breaks up on re-entry and scatters small disasters across a spread of places. In that circumstance a portable forge won't be as good an investment as two weeks of drinking water and a generator.

Giant nickel-iron death asteroids are great thrills, but mushy rocks are an easier sell to non-preppers as something to mitigate against.  People prefer to ignore catastrophic threats, but will take action to avoid inconvenience. Most folks haven't survived catastrophe; just about everybody's been to the DMV.

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 03:50:19 PM »
Good point.  And many of the same preps that might be useful in catastrophes are equally useful in lesser emergencies.  Bottom line:  food, water, shelter, power, information sources, medical are potentially valuable no matter what the nature of the problem might be.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Drang

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 04:57:48 PM »
Good point.  And many of the same preps that might be useful in catastrophes are equally useful in lesser emergencies.  Bottom line:  food, water, shelter, power, information sources, medical are potentially valuable no matter what the nature of the problem might be.
I've tried to convince people of this many times; I actually know some who say that they don't care what kind of disaster hits, life without electricity and hot and cold running water won't be worth living, so "My plan is to wash a bottle of sleeping pills down with a bottle of vodka."   :o

As I pointed out in my review of Lucifer's Hammer on my blog (The Clue Meter: Reading, Read), there have been a lot of changes in the 35-odd years since it's been published.
Quote
The biggest change since the book was written, however, at least that would make a difference, is in the field of Prepping.  In 1977 "survivalism" was the realm of whackos and weirdos and conspiracy theorists.  No shortage of those in the prepper community these days, of course, but nowadays, instead of being thought odd for stocking up on food--or putting together a vanload of jerky--your neighbors would be engaging you in a debate about the best method of making jerky, and swapping URLs for sources of long-term storage food.  
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 05:01:01 PM by Drang »
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Offline pslblog

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 06:18:15 PM »
I've tried to convince people of this many times; I actually know some who say that they don't care what kind of disaster hits, life without electricity and hot and cold running water won't be worth living, so "My plan is to wash a bottle of sleeping pills down with a bottle of vodka."   :o

It is easier to sell preventative for a week's inconvenience than tools to endure a lifetime of misery.

My grandmother had her spine messed up by the doctor while she was being born and endured pain every day of her life. My father had to walk back off the line two miles in Korea when a grenade went off as he was throwing it out of his foxhole; his hand freezing probably kept him from bleeding out on the way to the aid station. Not everybody has these stories in their family history or their memory to give them a baseline of survival. Work with what you can and let them develop their own awareness of what survival means.

The first sell doesn't have to be for all the marbles. Making it through the first day without panic is also a worthy goal for your neighbors. If the folks around you aren't desperately afraid from the first moment, your chances of survival go up.

Of course Bill's plan better be a peach, because making it through the first 24 hours in San Francisco is going take some doing. Did you know that belt-fed semi-automatic M1919A4's are legal in California? Polish the trigger action right and you might be able to hold out a good long time. Is your building strong enough for you to build sandbag walls? I'm betting the baddest gang-bangers have no idea how hard it is to take a pillbox, and won't take serious casualties for your swag. 


Offline Mr. Bingley

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 12:00:52 PM »
Quote
Bottom line:  food, water, shelter, power, information sources, medical are potentially valuable no matter what the nature of the problem might be.

fixed that for you, Boss!  ;D

Offline Drang

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 02:26:59 PM »
We usually have cloud cover whenever something interesting happens in the sky.  :(
I'd invite you over, but we in Western Washington is even more likely to have cloud cover than you Dry Siders.  ;)

Hopefully, though, things won't get too interesting, or the wife and the cats and I may be dropping by your place...   ;D
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Offline Bonnie

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 03:36:33 PM »
You would be welcome - especially since you'd bring some preps, too!

Seriously, in thinking about having people stay here, I've almost got my husband convinced to get the junk out of the guest cabin. I thought this summer would do it, but he's stubborn.  >:(

Maybe next summer. Hope springs eternal & all that.  ;)
God bless,
Bonnie
Opportunity Farm
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"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10

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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 11:17:31 AM »
Quote
Is your building strong enough for you to build sandbag walls?

Say, here's a landscaping tip:  You can build very nice planters along the front of your house to display decorative (or even edible) plants.

Mine are built out of painted 3/4 inch plywood and 2x4s.  They are about four feet high, five feet wide, and ten inches deep.  Now, you don't want those babies moving in a high wind, so you have to fill the interiors with pea gravel.  That will keep them in place.

Quite pretty, too.  I made some nice trellises for the plantings along the top of these planter boxes.  All I had available was barbed wire, but you know, you use what you have.   ;D

I like these so well I'm planning on putting them around my back patio as well.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Langenator

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 11:47:47 AM »
FWIW, if I remember my old Army FM's correctly, sand is better than gravel at arresting the progress of small flying objects.

Just sayin'.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 01:46:17 PM »
FWIW, if I remember my old Army FM's correctly, sand is better than gravel at arresting the progress of small flying objects.

Just sayin'.

The problem is that if a hole gets punched into the container, the sand runs out....with gravel, not so much, depending on the size.
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline Mr. Bingley

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 02:21:33 PM »
Although as planters one would presume that they have been watered, so the sand might not be so flowing.

Offline pslblog

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 02:58:53 PM »
Although as planters one would presume that they have been watered, so the sand might not be so flowing.
A buddy of mine's dad was on staff in Saigon during the war and to keep the sandbags intact, so they wouldn't have to rebuild the wall every six months, they covered the sandbags with concrete. One day some time later my buddy was visiting his dad from the field, and leaned on the sandbag wall concrete, only to have his hand go through the concrete into thin air. Concrete develops cracks, and those cracks combined with monsoon season resulted in a less secure concrete shell over the memory of sandbags. Luckily this was not discovered during Tet.

Sand is fine in some situations, but fire and forget it ain't.

Offline Langenator

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2012, 09:02:47 AM »
I've actually seen something that at least looked like they had done it in almost the opposite direction - mixed cement powder in when filling the sand bags.

When it rained, the stuff inside the bags turned to concrete.  Eventually the bags wore away, leaving (low quality) concrete in the shape of stacked sandbags.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline pslblog

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2012, 12:49:13 AM »
I've actually seen something that at least looked like they had done it in almost the opposite direction - mixed cement powder in when filling the sand bags.

When it rained, the stuff inside the bags turned to concrete.  Eventually the bags wore away, leaving (low quality) concrete in the shape of stacked sandbags.
I could see that as a way of building a low priority retaining wall and using that to build a thick berm, but it seems kinda chancy. There would be a lot of risk of a bad section of bags giving way, but if you weren't going more than a few feet rise and the berm material wasn't flaky, it might work for a few years. We'd all love to be able to stack cabled-in tires with earth support as a super berm (won't stop high velocity cannon penetrators, but will stop HE forever), it would probably be a lot cheaper and easier to put together a sandbag machine and mix concrete into the boundary bags.

Has there been a sandbag machine thread?  I looked into this a few years ago when it was possible I would deploy.

The idea of holding a freaking sandbag and manually shoveling in dirt struck me as the worst kind of stupidity. Convincing volunteers that they were stupid to help out is one of the ways idiots self-identify in the military. Good people can usually find good units to be a part of and bad leadership does a lot to convince them to try. It would be handy in an emergency if you had or could build quickly a sandbag machine. If there is no great reason to suck, don't suck.

Offline Langenator

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 09:13:53 AM »
The ones I'm thinking of specifically were rocket shelters, at Bagram IIRC.  Take a U-shaped section of reinforced concrete about 6" or so thick, turn it upside down, pile sandbags on top of and around it.

In Afghanistan, the "sandbag machine" was also called "hire locals."

Stateside, for training ranges and such, we'd usually have the soldiers who'd received extra duty as Art. 15 punishment do it.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline pslblog

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Re: Start panicking!
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2012, 12:18:16 AM »
The ones I'm thinking of specifically were rocket shelters, at Bagram IIRC.  Take a U-shaped section of reinforced concrete about 6" or so thick, turn it upside down, pile sandbags on top of and around it.
In Afghanistan, the "sandbag machine" was also called "hire locals."
Stateside, for training ranges and such, we'd usually have the soldiers who'd received extra duty as Art. 15 punishment do it.
In my service instead of sandbags, you applied miles of empty ocean if possible. Since I specialized in long-range open-ocean sonar, imagine my surprise when they started using very expensive destroyers as really awkward patrol boats. Trouble with really dominating an environment, you change the equation.


 

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