March 5, 2015

Prepping within reasons: Tools

This article will continue discussing my newly acquired philosophy on prepping called "prepping within reasons." The idea behind the name originates from the entrepreneur Elon Musk, who said that he is an "environmentalist within reasons," because hardcore environmentalists tend to have a too constrained lifestyle. While the introduction article talked about why, we are now going to talk about how! 
I've been to the army (we in Sweden used to have a conscript system, so I didn't have much of a choice). But you don't really learn basic survival skills in the army, at least not if you are in a tank unit. Yes, I've lived in a tent in a forest for 2 weeks while cooking dry food. But that's not surviving, because each day a green truck appeared with both clean water and hot food. You can't expect that service if you are a civilian.
So to learn basic survival skills I found the book SAS Survival Guide (I guess some military personnel learn survival skills). But don't worry, the book doesn't assume that you are in the army, so all civilians can use it. One thing I learned from the book was that if you are going to survive on your own you will need a loooong string. Because with a string it's much easier to build traps, shelters, fishing lines, and much more.
Remember that we are here prepping within reasons, so we don't need everything from the SAS Survival Guide. We just need the basics. So this will be a short list of equipment you should have in your home anyway:
  • Multi-tool
  • Medical kit
  • Flashlight
  • You should also save a few empty plastic bottles before you bring them to the recycling station (and maybe fill a few of them with water). If you and everyone else hears that something will happen that might affect the water supply, it might be too late to buy new empty bottles to store water in because everyone else is trying to buy the same bottles.
  • A radio that you can crank up so you don't need batteries. Most of these will also allow you to connect your smartphone to it, so you can crank it up as well. 
  • The same with food as with water. People will buy all canned food in the store, so it can't hurt to have a few in a drawer (you can always give them to your cat before they get too old). You should be able to eat them cold. I mean you don't have to stack them like this:

Source: Survival Spot

March 4, 2015

The easter bunny came early this year with Unity 5

About one year ago I found a cool piece of software called Unity. In Unity you can make games, I believe the game Angry Pigs was made in Unity, and you can also make simulations, like my own Tesla Motors Simulator. The good thing with Unity is that you can focus on building your product instead of first focusing on building a game engine and then your product. This will obviously speed up the process and I don't even know if it is realistic to learn both in a short amount of time. Earlier I considered this cheating (to not build everything yourself), but hey, even Minecraft used libraries built by other developers and they turned out fine.

But back to Unity. There are basically 2 competing game engines: Unreal and Unity. A few days ago, Unreal revealed that their engine would be free to use, and yesterday Unity revealed that their new engine, Unity 5, would also be free to use. Unity had earlier 2 versions, one free with like 90 percent of the functions, and one pro version that you had to pay something like $1500 to get. But yesterday they released the pro version for free (But you have to pay Unity if you make money).

The first thing you notice in Unity 5 is that everything from the beginning looks better. The "hello world" of all game engines that also can handle physics is to build yourself a tower of cubes and then destroy the tower with balls. This is how it looks like in Unity 5:

Even though the images above look like they are still images, you can actually fly around. So I'm really excited what I now can do to improve my Tesla Simulator (which by they way is completely broken after the update because Unity changed a few of the physics calculations). And if you want to try out Unity yourself, there's a lot of tutorials on YouTube and on Unity's own site.

March 3, 2015

Prepping within reasons: Introduction

The first time I heard the word "prepping" was about 2 years ago when I found a documentary series on YouTube called "Doomsday Preppers." In the series you follow mostly Americans who prepare (prepping) for unexpected events like a nuclear war, a civil war, a society in chaos when it has run out of oil, a global pandemic, and much more. Most families and individuals in the series tend to take this prepping to the extreme and it becomes almost like an obsession. They spend almost all of their money on building underground bunkers, rebuilding military trucks and boats, and they hoard food, water, and firearms. So if something will happen they will be safe.

The keywords is "if." Is it really a good idea to spend all of your money on unexpected events? Personally I believe the answer is no! But you should spend a little time and money on preparing for unexpected events. For example, after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, everyone could see how difficult it was for even the powerful American government to help a single region in need. What if a disaster happens to an entire country?

I believe a lot of people expect to get help from the government if something happens. "Who cares about prepping, the government will provide money and water!" But that is not always true. For example, here in Sweden we don't have and large storage building with food the government can deliver to people in need. It is up to the individual to survive on his/her own. And the fact is that Sweden will run out of food within 10 days.

What I believe in is prepping "within reasons." The rule that you need to remember is 3-3-3. It says that you will survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. This is what you should prepare for, and maybe ignore the nuclear wars and pandemics that hardcore preppers prepare for.

This is part 1, but if you can't wait until next part, you should watch a YouTube series called Surviving the Wilderness 2, and learn how difficult it is to survive without being prepared. It's a series where a guy called Bucky Roberts, who is famous for making tutorials on how to write software, tries to survive in the forrests of US. He has no experience and very few tools - and no mobile phone. He almost didn't make it out alive...

March 2, 2015

Quotes from Twitter users that will give you motivation or inspiration

One good thing with Twitter is that people who are using Twitter like to tweet quotes that will hopefully increase your current motivation or give you inspiration. But a few seconds later after you've read the tweet and found inspiration, you will probably have forgotten the content, so I thought it would be funny to during one day collect these. These are obliously not all tweets produced that fit within the category, just from the people I follow. I might add more in the future to update the collection.

But everyone is not enjoying motivational quote...

March 1, 2015

Hey ho, let's go!

Hey ho, let's go! is a song by the Ramones. It is also the title of this article, which is also the first of a total of 100 articles I'm going to write in as many days. If you are Swedish and a Twitter user you might have noticed an unusual amount of tweets appearing today with the hashtag #blogg100. Blogg 100 is a "movement" or rather a challenge that a lot of Swedish bloggers paricipate in each year. The idea is to blog more by blogging at least once each day for a total of 100 days. 

About 2 year ago I participated in the #blogg100. After writing 100 articles I could actually notice an increased traffic to my blogs. For example,
  • The number of clicks increased by 123 percent
  • The number of impressions increased by 107 percent
So since I've not really prioritized blogging recently, I've decided to write 100 articles in as many days.