Ebola: Coming to a temperate zone near you

December 31, 2008

The Wildlife Conservation Society has identified twelve relatively uncommon diseases that are likely to become much more widespread after the global climate change cataclysm. Listen here to learn more:

To download the mp3, right click here.

Or click here to read tip #34: Diversify your immune system.

[No Fun by Iggy Pop and the Stooges]


#37 Learn to talk to people face-to-face

December 28, 2008

Apparently, a whole generation of people is growing up unable to carry on a conversation with another human being face-to-face. They’re so used to email and texting with their friends, they’d rather do that than actually see them in real life.

The Onion

Source: The Onion

Great if we want to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. Not so good for after the global climate change cataclysm, when batteries run dry and the electrical grid collapses.

Imagine, you’re going though life just texting along, when your iPhone suddenly goes dead. You realize the last time you plugged it in, it didn’t actually juice up. You look up from the phone, only to discover the water has already risen up to your knees. What do you do?

You can’t start emailing or texting for help. You’ll have to shout. I know it sounds frightening, but you will have to talk to the people around you. They may be family, friends or even strangers. If you don’t know how to carry on a verbal conversation with the people who planned ahead for the cataclysm, you’ll have a lot of trouble getting them to row you to safety or share their freeze-dried Brunswick stew with you.

Practice now. Put down that phone or PDA and talk to someone. You may find it less efficient than email. It will require more words, and you may have to talk about things that aren’t on the topic you started with. You’ll have to use entire words. Then again, you may be surprised to find out it takes less time to say “by the way” than it does to say the letters “BTW.”

smileyYou’ll also need to make facial expressions and hand gestures appropriate to the content of your words. To do this, imagine the kind of emoticon you might use with certain statements, and try to make your face look like that. Many people of the older generation learned this as children, and may be able to help you.

Start talking now, lest you find yourself texting underwater.

#34 Diversify your immune system

October 7, 2008

If you thought mononucleosis was bad, check out ebola.

If you haven’t yet, you may get a chance to try.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has identified twelve relatively uncommon diseases that are likely to become much more widespread after the global climate change cataclysm. See, as your local climate changes, pathogens that couldn’t survive there before will suddenly be able to. You’ll have to diversify your immune system if you want to survive.

Thanks to WCS, we know what diseases you should start preparing for now. The “Deadly Dozen” are (in alphabetical order)

  • Avian flu
  • Babesia
  • Cholera
  • Ebola
  • Intestinal and external parasites
  • Plague
  • Lyme disease
  • Red tides
  • Rift Valley fever
  • Sleeping sickness
  • Tuberculosis
  • Yellow fever

I once had a yellow fever vaccination, but I don’t have a clue what “babesia” is.

As we all know, the keys to avoiding illness are 1) keeping yourself fit and healthy, and 2) washing your hands every five minutes. So start with that. The next step is to beef up your immune system and diversify it.

Check the Centers for Disease Control website for reports of the deadly dozen popping up. I found a report of babesia in New Jersey from 2003. That will help you keep track of the geographic infection creep, and might show where you can visit if you want to try to to build up antibodies.

Whatever you do, don’t rely on those antibacterial soaps to save you after the cataclysm. They do more harm than good, and they’ll run out long before the deadly dozen pathogens do.

The quest for maps and cataclysm survival

June 20, 2008

After the cataclysm, the soft, sweet voice of your GPS system will fail. To survive, you need to learn to read a map, and to practice. Listen here for more, or read tip #21: Treasure your maps.

Or right click here to download the mp3.

[96 Degrees in the Shade by Third World]

#21 Treasure your maps

June 19, 2008

I was driving with a friend the other day on the mean freeways of our unfair city when we got a little lost. Had we missed the exit? If so, which one should we take, and how could we backtrack on surface streets?

“Pull out my Thomas Guide,” I said to my friend.

He dutifully did so, then proceeded to flip through the pages at random. Finally he admitted, “I’ve never used one of these before.”

“You do know how to read a map, right?” I asked, rather surprised.

He ducked his head a little sheepishly. “The one I use talks to me.”

Oh dear, another victim of GPS technology.

1929 Rhode Island Road MapYou don’t want this to be you after the cataclysm, when you’re rowing your car down unfamiliar streets in a desperate search for food, or running from feral animal packs or marauding bands of sociopaths. By then the soft, sweet voice of your GPS system will have failed. Untended satellites will have fallen from the sky in disrepair and the energy grid that made them possible will have collapsed.

How will you survive misdirection after the cataclysm? Learn how to read a map. It’s a basic skill you don’t want to be without. What’s more, I recommend that you practice regularly. Turn off that GPS and make your way to the grocery store with only a map to guide you! Do it on foot and you could turn it into a proper cataclysm exercise.

Not only will map reading skills help you survive the coming global climate change cataclysm, you’ll be able to avoid the humiliation today of admitting to a girl that you don’t know how.

Five bucks a gallon means business for some

June 6, 2008

Nearly five bucks a gallonJust rolled my bike off the porch where it’s been sitting for -er- three years at least, and took it to a local bike repair shop. At today’s gas prices, I’m ready to invest in a little sweat equity.

I asked Marty, who works there, if he’s seen an uptick in business recently.

“Yes, but not in sales. A lot of people like you have decided it’s time to make this thing pay for itself.”

The rise in gas prices doesn’t have to be a cataclysm. It’s a chance for us to make better choices, both short-term and long-term. Here’s to higher bike store sales and increased investment in public transit.

When you see me biking up the street, just remember that by buying less gas I’m reducing demand for oil, thus helping lower the price for all of us. So please, share the road.

Photo by Ben Lunsford, via Wikimedia Commons

This land is your land

June 3, 2008

Join the guerrilla gardening movement, and get three great post-cataclysm benefits! Listen here for more, or read tip #18: Take back the land.

If you don’t see the embedded media player above, right click here to download the mp3, or listen at blog52.podbean.com.

[A Rose for Emily by The Zombies]