Beautiful Nature Photography

I came across a great picture of a deer out there, and I decided that today’s photography post would have the theme of animals. Enjoy 🙂

By Igor Cibulsky

 

By Dylan Furst

 

 

By Paul Keates

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The Cheapest Home Security Tips

Today I read an interesting compilation of interview questions and answers from actual burglars. Given the heightened fear and lack of security the average Joe is subject to lately, I thought it would be good to share a bit of this information.

1. Burglars are looking for the easiest target. If your house is harder to get into relative to your neighbor’s house, it’s your neighbor’s house that’s gonna get hit. You don’t have to live in a nuclear bunker. Simple things are strong deterrents to burglars – things like keeping your front garden under control and having a dog that barks at strangers.

2. Rookie mistakes make you a burglar’s best friend. Most respondents in the interview questions list unlocked windows and doors as their preferred entry method before the burglin’ gets under way. This means that conversely, you can raise your home security and lower your chances of getting burgled by simply locking all your doors and windows any time you go out.

3. Your bedroom is a rubbish hiding place for your treasure. Sure, it makes you feel more secure to sleep next to your jewellery box and mini safe. Most burglars know to start in the master bedroom when looking for valuables though. You need a good hiding place if you’re set on keeping a store of valuables at home.

4. Most burglars knock first. Sure, they seem brazen in hindsight when you’re cleaning up your ransacked living room. But in real life most burglars are shy, and wouldn’t risk burgling a house if there was a chance someone would catch them in the middle of things.

Burglars

In light of these points, the cheapest and best home security tips I can share are the following:

Know your neighbors. Good neighbors pay attention to the street and adjacent properties. There’s nothing better than having an extra set of eyes watching out for you. You don’t have to be best friends with your neighbors, but building up a positive relationship of trust and mutual respect has manifold benefits. It costs nothing to start to get to know your neighbors today!

Keep a radio on all day long. Most of the burglars who responded to the interview questions said they wouldn’t break in to a house in which they heard the radio. And not just because of the vacuous day time programming! Signs that the homeowners may be home are big turn-offs for most burglars.

Get a big dog. Keep him a little hungry and do things to him to make him distrust strangers. You can give your friends chilli and lemons, and other things that dogs hate, and then your friends can feed those things to your dog when they visit. That’ll make your dog hate strangers, and he’ll probably serve as an excellent defense against burglars.

So there you go – some tips on how to avoid being burgled from real actual burglars. What about you? What are your tips for home security? Share in the comments!

Source – King5 News

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Beautiful Nature Photography

Check out some beautiful nature photography from the vast untapped fringes of internet talent.

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Source – Deb Clark’s Instagram

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Source – Julian Bialowas’ Flickr

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Source – Henry Nathan’s Instagram

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Beware of Disaster Scams

I​n the wake of Hurricane Matthew having pounded Georgia in the US, and a string of powerful storms here in my home of Australia, I thought a reminder about disaster scammers was due. We’re all aware that we live in an imperfect world, and that decent people are often faced with misfortune and adversity. In the middle of hard times though, sometimes opportunistic scum emerge from the depths to take advantage of people who need help. This is the case in Georgia at the moment – as disaster survivors work to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, scammers and con-men are out searching for new marks. Disaster recovery is stressful and resource intensive. Survivors aren’t in their best shape mentally and physically, which can make it easier to fall prey to deception. Here are some tips that could save you from further losses if you’re recovering from a disaster.

Disaster

Pay attention to door-knockers.
Anyone going door to door in storm ravaged suburbs, or cold-calling homeowners claiming to be building contractors should be treated with caution. If they ask for payment for disaster aid or payment details, this probably means they’re trying to scam you. In fact, anyone who claims to be from the government at the same time as offering help, is probably trying to scam you.


Ask for ID.
All FEMA representatives carry a federal ID badge which you’re entitled to ask to see before disclosing any information. A FEMA uniform isn’t proof of identity. If you have doubts that the person you’re talking to represents FEMA, contact law enforcement. If the representative slowly backs away as you dial the numbers, breaking into a full sprint as they get to the street, this is a good indication that you weren’t speaking to a genuine government representative.

Safeguard personal information.
FEMA representatives won’t ask for personal information like bank account or credit card numbers. Remember – they’re government workers, and the government doesn’t need your bank account number or credit card details to steal from you.


Relief workers don’t ask for money.
Regardless of whether they work for government or NGO, genuine relief workers won’t ask for pre-payment, booking fees, application fees, or any other forms of payment for disaster assistance.

If after reading all of this you still want to pay for assistance that you’d receive as a natural part of being a taxpayer, please get in touch to ask for my paypal details.

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Rift Valley Fever – the OK kind of haemorrhagic fever.

​The European Centre for Disease Control has released a risk assessment for Rift Valley Fever, an haemorrhagic fever that has killed 28 people in Niger, Africa. African haemorrhagic fevers tend to make big headlines as their high virulence can easily be sensationalised, and we all know how well sensation translates into advertising sales. Fortunately in this case, only 78 human cases have been reported since the outbreak began in August. 

Rift Valley Fever is not easy to catch – transmission only occurs through direct contact with the blood of an infected animal, or by being born of an infected. Once infected, human carriers can display symptoms ranging from nothing at all, to flu-like symptoms and at worst, the fatal haemorrhagic fever.  Because of the relative difficulty of transmission, the ECDC has declared the virus low risk. Human carriers bringing the virus into Europe from Niger, Saudi Arabia, and other locations with reported infections are apparently no cause for concern in this case. You can bet that if there was any cause for concern, the mainstream media would be selling the fear at maximum volume. Nothing glues a sucker to a screen like the threat of a pandemic. 

Source – ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment

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Entirety of South Australia without electricity


Lashed by severe storms, the entire state of South Australia’s electric grid went offline last night. Australia may be a first world nation with an enviably high standard of living, but last night 1,670,000 Australians had no access to public electricity at all. Restoration works are underway, but there are still people without electrical power now.

Situations like this one are a reminder that no one is immune to natural disasters. A total reliance on the government and emergency services can strand people when disasters strike. Of course, mainstream society loves a chuckle at preppers who are ready to deal with a lower standard of living. “Ho ho! Look at them, with their outdoor skills and self-reliance! I bet they don’t even know which housewife won real housewives!” But the giggles go quiet when a storm renders the television inoperable, and soon enough they knock on the door of the house that has a petrol electric generator.

It may be silly to dress in casual camo and bring up your knife collection in everyday conversation (and it really is – quit doing this if it’s you), but it’s even sillier to wait for nature to test the strength of your nation’s vital infrastructure with no plan B. You don’t need a bug-out bunker in the mountains, but you do have the responsibility to ensure you prepare yourself and your family for common emergencies.

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Make An Arrow Head From A Tin Can

Watch as YouTuber ‘Philosophy of Survival‘ teaches you how to make an arrow head out of a tin can. This is definitely useful to know. Repurposing old garbage into survival tools is not only eco-friendly and cost effective, it’s could also be your only choice in certain situations.

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Ansel Adams Wilderness

Ansel Adams Wilderness, California

I came across a video of some guy hiking the Ansel Adams Wilderness tonight, and I’d have shared it with you but I got scared the footage was too amateur and second guessed myself into not doing it. Instead, let’s have a look at some pictures from around the Ansel Adams Wilderness and learn some history about it. Having seen so many beautiful landscapes all in one short minute, I’ve decided that I must go to see this wilderness area myself. Visiting the US has limited appeal to me, especially with the choice of presidents the poor Americans face this time around. I don’t often think to myself “I must visit the US,” but on this occasion my mind is made up. I really must.

ansel adams wildnerness

 

Ansel Adams was an American landscape photographer. I first learned about him when I was trying to get a handle on shooting landscapes. Adams himself was prodigiously skilled at this and his entire catalogue will make your eyes water as you swear never to click a shutter again, such is your unworthiness. It’s a pretty bad feeling to try to learn photography from the best images of the 20th century masters. Anywho, it was Ansel Adams who so impressed on the American public the beauty of American wilderness spaces, and the need to protect those places. Such was his effectiveness as a wilderness advocate that the authorities of the day renamed a national park in his honour.

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Chittenden Lake

The Ansel Adams Wilderness is located in Sierra Nevada, California. It’s got everything – lakes, mountains, mountains with lakes on top of them, and even lakes with mountains coming out of them. Glaciers too. It looks like exactly the kind of place where one could entirely forget about sales quotas and mortgage repayments. There are more than five hundred kilometers of hiking trials in the Ansel Adams Wilderness on which you can hike off your earthly worries. Except if you’re worried about bears – there are bears there.

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Banner Peak and Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, California

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Woman Survives A Month Lost In New Zealand

A Czech backpacker has been found after a month lost in New Zealand’s wilderness. Pavlina Pizova and her partner Ondrej Petr were hiking Routeburn Track near Queenstown. An unfortunate string of planning errors and bad weather culminated in the tragic death of Ondrej Petr, who froze to death after falling down a slope and becoming stuck. Pavlina Pizova stayed with him until he had died, after which she happened upon a warden’s cabin. From the cabin she made several abortive attempts to reach the end of the trail, all of which were thwarted by heavy snow and rough terrain. Eventually, concerned relatives reported the pair missing through the Czech embassy in New Zealand, launching a rescue mission that found Pizova alive.

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New Zealand’s beautiful Routeburn Track

I personally find this whole story heartbreaking. The haunting image of sitting by a loved one’s side trapped in the snow, unable to free them, and watching them die. It is a terribly sad story, but one from which we can all take important lessons. The first is that nature doesn’t care about us. It’s not a loving mother – it will devour you if you cross it. We forget this in our urban cocoons, but it took thousands of years of careful development to get to where we are. Outside of the cities, if you break your leg in a quiet part of a rarely traversed forest you can still be in big trouble.

Routeburn Track

The second lesson is to always let people know your hiking plans. You should give your schedule to someone close to you (obviously not someone who is coming on your hike) so that they can alert authorities if you fail to return on time. The fail safe in your planning is a little device called a Personal Locator Beacon. These do what they say on the label, showing search parties your location on GPS when you’re in distress. They don’t cost much and they can literally save your life.


The third lesson is just as important as the preceding ones – always check the weather. A midsummer hike through a lowlands mountain trail is nothing like the same trail in the dead of winter. Snow storms can change everything as well as disorienting hikers and quickly creating deadly conditions. A simple check of the weather report for the area you’re planning to hike could save your weekend, or even your life.

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Source – CBC News Article

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Tiny water purification device

A new development in the field of water purification – a device the size of a postage stamp that can passively purify water 144 times faster than the sun. That means this tiny device doesn’t require any power source. What’s most interesting is that this device can purify water with the materials from which it’s constructed, as well as the layout of the materials. The device is made from glass coated in molybdenium disulphide, a chemical which causes reactions in water that result in the generation of hydrogen peroxide and other disinfectants.

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As much as I hate to keep referring to an unnamed “device”, I’m going to have to. The water purifier is still in its research and development stage, and as such I haven’t come across any name for it at this point. It isn’t ready for the market yet either; rather it seems to be a proof of concept for researcher Chong Liu.

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“Our device looks like a little rectangle of black glass,” explains lead researcher Chong Liu from Stanford University. “We just dropped it into the water and put everything under the Sun, and the Sun did all the work.”

“It’s very exciting to see that by just designing a material you can achieve a good performance,” says Liu. “It really works. Our intention is to solve environmental pollution problems so people can live better.”

I have all the respect and admiration possible for people who work hard with the simple goal of bettering the world. An invention like this could change the lives of many of the world’s poorest people by simplifying and lowering the cost of purifying water. For us survivalists, ultra and otherwise, having a pocket sized water purifier that works passively and for an unlimited number of purifications would mean more independence and possibly less gear to keep in the old bug out bag. God bless Chong Liu and his team of researchers at Stanford.

 

Sources –

Sciencealert.com

Nature.com

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