1. Stove fuel: Maybe you have an alcohol-burning camp stove, or your made one like the beer can stove in our survival by beer gallery (link). For that type of stove, you’ll need some very high-proof liquor (like Everclear, if you can legally get it where you live) to efficiently cook your food and boil your water.
2. Wound management: It’s going to hurt, but alcohol could be used as an aggressive disinfectant on topical wounds. This is a pretty rough way to practice field medicine, but it is on the table as a last resort.
3. Pain management: From broken legs to broken hearts, lots of folks find solace in a sip or two of the good stuff. It’s not a perfect pain killer, but it may be all you have in a pinch. Just make sure your booze is the drinking kind. Denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol, methanol, and many other alcohol products are toxic.
4. Bartering: Whether you drink alcohol or don’t, there will always be plenty of folks around who will want some. In the event of a prolonged disaster, alcohol (along with cigarettes and caffeine) could be a very valuable trade good.
5. Gear disinfectant: You could disinfect your gore-covered knife, the dirty drinking hose to your Camelback, or a host of other filthy things with some high-test booze. Think of it as hand sanitizer for everything else.
And if you’re not going to use it as a stove fuel, it helps start a fire. Although alcohol stoves are lightweight and really clean-burning, meaning that if you’re desperate, they can also be used to heat a tent, provided you don’t have candles (and cook in it in a pinch). You can spend money on alcohol stoves but they’re simple enough to make, obviously, out of you know, trash.
But they lose points for not listing the best reason: getting blotto in the woods. Duh.
For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.
“The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure,” the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled in a case involving department store workers in Spain. “The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work.”
With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies. (more…)
I merely finished what your liver started! (img by Bottlefly Knife)
Both a tactical beverage tool and balisong training device, the Bottlefly is a hybrid butterfly beer opening machine. It’s weight and balance are designed to match that of your average butterfly knife, so you can use it for practice and once you know what you’re doing, impress the hell out of the thirsty. Plus, this is one balisong you can operate while piss-drunk, which is always a good thing.
A little over a year ago, I went on a six-week fast. I wanted to know what it was like, why people did it, if I could do it, and how it would change me. Modeled off the old Catholic tradition of the Black Fast, the rules were this: you get one meal a day after sunset, six days a week, Sundays you can eat whatever.
The first week was easy. Annoying, but easy. Saturday night I had the best prime rib of my life. By the final week, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t walk straight, my body was incapable of temperature regulation, and I had cramps and spasms constantly. I also did it in the spring and I became painfully conscious of the lengthening days.
You’d think you can cram in a good number of calories eating one meal a day, but over time, your stomach shrinks and you stop being able to eat in quantity. Big dinners became normal-sized dinners, and eventually small, calorically-dense meals. Towards the end on Sundays I couldn’t even eat three meals a day, although I was allowed to.
But when I go back to that, when I think about what the fast was like, I don’t think about the physical stress, that isn’t the part that sticks out the most, or even much at all. The most prominent part of that fast, what I remember most vividly, is an overwhelming feeling of being poor.
It crept in slowly over time. But eventually, it becomes everything, all day. One day, I looked down at the mail–junk–and saw a flier of coupons for the Hamburger Stand. I picked it up and read every word, I held it like a missal, I couldn’t pull myself away from the pictures of the food. I knew I couldn’t have all of it, couldn’t eat all of it, but I looked at the combos and the fancy drinks and tried to taste them in my head to plan out how I might eat my next meal, how I would stage thing out, what order would I go in.
When you fast that long, even though it’s a construct of your own design, the desperate poverty you feel isn’t illusionary, it’s crushing. (more…)
Bruce Schneier’s a security specialist with his own Internet meme. And while most people believe that technology elevates, improves things, Schneier holds that technology magnifies, makes things bigger, good and…