Makezine’s Door-top stash

Door top Stash 1 Makezines Door top stash (more…)

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Staying fit (at 55) while guarding a cargo ship against Somali pirates

leg raises for lower abs phatch Staying fit (at 55) while guarding a cargo ship against Somali pirates

Combat kegels.

boxing punch drill with resistance phatch Staying fit (at 55) while guarding a cargo ship against Somali pirates

The resistance will be tanned.

Business travel can push a person out of his or her “comfort zone” and temporarily trash a carefully established, healthy routine—which, for many of us, includes exercise workouts. Hitting the road for a paycheck, however, does not mean your painstakingly achieved fitness has to decline significantly—and, maybe not at all. I speak from experience.

In November 2012 I returned home from what would be my ultimate business trip: a two-month, maritime-security job on the Indian Ocean. I came back in perhaps slightly better shape than when I left, too. I had swapped my normal, twice- or thrice-weekly workout routine—kettle bells, calisthenics, and Nordic Track at home; dumbbells and weight machines at a local gym—for an improvised, shipboard routine. I used minimal personal gear and a variety of metal fixtures on the lifeboat deck and navigation deck of the Asian-flagged cargo ship I helped guard against Somali pirates.

You do not need a gym to work out.

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5 survival uses for high-proof alcohol

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.

Anyway, 5 survival uses for high-proof alcohol.

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Itchy sweater memories

Every year about this time I go on a Frank Lloyd Wright kick. I’m sure this is some sort of Pavlovian response connected to the holidays. When I was a kid we used to drive by a home designed by the controversial genius en route to my grandparent’s home. The owners of that particular Wright house would pull out all the stops in their impersonation of Clark Griswold if he had any sense of style or class. We’d ohh and ahh while we sweltered in the back seat wearing our itchy Sunday best clothes.

Every holiday season those muck-sweat stained memories resurface and prompt me to go surfing around the series of tubes looking for FLW homes. This year I found this article about the restoration of both the Muirhead House and the Westcott House (featured in the video link). I really shouldn’t watch this sort of thing because it makes me think A) I can learn carpentry and B) I should buy an old house an restore it.

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Soldier charged with manslaughter for rifle-based cure for hiccups

tl;dr he ain’t got the hiccups no mo,

fort campbells strike first unit in army issued m26 shotgun 450x244 Soldier charged with manslaughter for rifle based cure for hiccups

Unrelated badass shotgun (img US Army/Sgt. Joe Padula)

@CNN:

A soldier trying to scare another soldier out of hiccups shot his comrade in the face, killing him, authorities said Tuesday.

Both soldiers, joined by a third man, were drinking alcohol and watching football at the time of the Sunday night incident, authorities said.

“The victim had the hiccups. The suspect pulled out a gun to scare him in order to stop the hiccups,” said spokesman Carroll Smith of the Killeen, Texas, Police Department. (more…)

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In Spain, unemployment leads to dumpster diving, leads to locked dumpsters

Madrid Spain A couple of 005 450x354 In Spain, unemployment leads to dumpster diving, leads to locked dumpsters

Romanian scavengers dumpster dive for books to resell which were thrown away in Madrid, Spain, on August 22, 2012 (img by Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP)

I hear all the time that the US is turning socialist. While there are many government-led social programs and policies in place and have been for decades, the US is anything but socialist. It’s a word that gets thrown around to criticize government, and for all intensive porpoises, is pure hyperbole.

Many people would be hard-pressed to identify it. But here’s an example. Girona, a city in Spain, is installing locks on dumpsters to keep the homeless from eating potentially-spoiled food, for their safety.

“When you don’t have enough money,” she said, declining to give her name, “this is what there is.”

The woman, 33, said that she had once worked at the post office but that her unemployment benefits had run out and she was living now on euro 400 a month, about $520. She was squatting with some friends in a building that still had water and electricity, while collecting “a little of everything” from the garbage after stores closed and the streets were dark and quiet.

Such survival tactics are becoming increasingly commonplace here, with an unemployment rate over 50 per cent among young people and more and more households having adults without jobs. So pervasive is the problem of scavenging that one Spanish city has resorted to installing locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution.

Read the whole thing here.

Still, there is something to be gained. Do you know how to dumpster dive? I mean, it’s not a skill most people practice. Or want to practice. Or would do even if they got paid to do it.

Fortunately for us, there are guides. You want to know what the homeless eat? They eat this stuff.

What is safe to eat?

After all, the finding of objects is becoming something of an urban art. Even respectable employed people will sometimes find something tempting sticking out of a Dumpster or standing beside one. Quite a number of people, not all of them of the bohemian type, are willing to brag that they found this or that piece in the trash. But eating from Dumpsters is the thing that separates the dilettanti from the professionals.

Eating safely from the Dumpsters involves three principles: using the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, knowing the Dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly, and seeking always to answer the question, “Why was this discarded?”

If it sounds too alien, you haven’t been hungry enough.

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