Seven Ways to Beat the Blackout this Winter

Homeware stores report a 60% year on year increase in website searches like hot water bottle, candle and flashlight. These are baby steps. You don’t need to become an off-grid survivalist to learn a few of our tricks. This head torch (In the UK – https://amzn.to/3ATUbfG) for example – may look a tad eccentric, but its more convenient during a blackout than candles or a handheld flashlight – you are walking around in your own pool of light!
Batteries last a month of daily use, wich is fortunate since the UK National Grid warned lights could go out on “those deepest, darkest evenings in January and February” because of reduced gas imports from Europe. In the US, major cities are finding that extreme weather can easily disrupt their utility supply, randomly and with increasing regularity.

Both American and British grid-tied households are apprehensive about what to expect. The ideas and products in this list will help you take back control of your power bill, and save money from reduced energy consumption.

1. Work and comms
Top of the list for the WFA generation is a reliable internet connection and long battery life. If you have a laptop make sure its low-energy – (the latest HP https://amzn.to/3XLHhdN, or Apple 13” Macbook https://amzn.to/3ipApSS, both last over 13 hours of use). Mobile phones with a good battery life include the Android Asus https://amzn.to/3UgKO0I and this Apple https://amzn.to/3OP0SFy

You can connect the laptop via your mobile phone’s personal wifi hotspot. Alternatively, buy a data dongle that plugs into your laptop (and feeds off its battery) to connect it to the internet via the mobile phone network- best for international is the Huwai https://amzn.to/3Fd03mO – A mifi dongle does the same thing, plus allows several devices to wirelessly use the connection. Both these options require a data plan from a mobile phone provider.

2. Uninterruptible power supply
For your home broadband connection, Most most modern gas boilers need a permanent electricity supply, so if your power goes down then so does your central heating you need an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which has a battery. A mid-range model can keep a typical 12V router seamlessly connected for a day, and a hot water pump in the evening. An APC UPS by Schneider Electric https://amzn.to/3EO6jQK for around £380 promises to keep a router and smartphone charger running for almost a day The more devices you plug in the shorter the UPS will last.

3. Battery pack

Either get yourself a big battery or a small one that fits in your purse or pocket – dont bother with the ones in between

Small portable battery packs charge your mobile phone, (like this one from Anker – https://amzn.to/3ucfDsB )when you are on the go, but are less handy in a blackout. Just make sure the power pack itself stays charged.

Big batteries like Bluetti and Jackery can set …

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to the Care & Cleaning
of Natural Stone
Apublication from the Marble Institute of America Marble Institute of America
28901 Clemens Road, Suite 100 • Cleveland, Ohio 44145 Phone: 4402509222 • Fax: 4402509223 www.marbleinstitute.com
©2004 Marble Institute of America
The Marble Institute of America (MIA) is the leading
resource for
information and education for the natural
stone industry.
MIA Members, numbering over 1,200
worldwide, include marble, granite, limestone, sand
stone, and
other natural stone producers and quarriers,
installers, distributors, and contractors.
The association’s mission is to promote the use
of natural stone and be the authoritative source of
information on standards of workmanship and practice
and suitable application of stone products. MIA publishes
monthly newsletter, markets a range of
technical publications and consumer pamphlets on
natural stone, sponsors business and technical meet
ings and seminars on industryrelated topics, and pro
vides educational programming for architects
and con
struction specification professionals. MIA also
outstanding natural stone projects worldwide through
its annual Pinnacle Awards competition.
For more information,
contact MIA at 4402509222,
email MIAinfo@marbleinstitute.com,
or visit www.marbleinstitute.com.
About the Marble Institute of America
Fur ther Reading
ASTM International. ASTM C151 5: Cleaning of Exterior
Dimension Stone,
Vertical and Horizontal Surfaces, New
or Existing. West Conshohocken: ASTM Int ernational.
Cleaning Masonry Review of the Literature,
by Grimm, Clayford T., P.E.Construction Research Center,
niversity of Texas at Arlington, 1988.
Cleaning Stone and Masonry, Clifton, James R., Editor,
AS TM Special Technical Publication 935, American

ty for Testing and Materials, 1983.
Keeping It Clean, by Grimmer, Anne E.,

.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service,
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988.
“Cleaning of Masonry Interiors of Public Buildings,” Cleaning
Stone and Masonr

y, by Roth, J.W.,

TM STP 935, 1986. “Chemical Cleaning of Historical Structures A Practical
Cleaning Stone and Masonry, by Rudder, T.H.,

TM STP 935, 1986.
“A Case Study of the Cleaning of Marble at the Schenectady,
New York, City Hall,” Cleaning Stone and Masonry,
by Waite, J.C. and R.J. Chen, ASTM STP 935, 1
“A Macrosteriogrammetric Technique for Measuring Surface
Er osion Losses on Stone,” Cleaning Stone and Masonr y,
by Winkler, E.M., ASTM STP 935, 1986.
Stain Removal Guide for Stone and Masonry, by Hueston,

rederick M., NTC Enterprises Inc.
Historic Stone & Tile Restoration Manual,
b y Hueston,
Frederick M., NTC Enterprises Inc., 1998.
Stone Maintenance Manual for Professional Cleaning
Contractors, byHuest
on, Frederick M., NTC Enterprises Inc.,
1996. Contents
Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Know Your Stone . . …

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Reinventing writing, paper, printing presses after fall of civilization 

After the initial trauma of the coronavirus lockdown, one can imagine the ease with which civilization might disintegrate in the face of disaster. In a real end of world scenario, we can safely assume that many of the things we take for granted — wireless networks, smartphones, the Internet and other forms of instant communication — will be lost.

For the survivors, then, they will have no choice but to fall back on the more traditional forms of communication — such as the simple pen and paper. But paper is an extremely perishable material. A combination of time, wildfires, humidity and other factors will quickly deplete whatever stocks of paper are left behind.

Civilizations are built on the accumulated knowledge of writers. To avoid a regression, it will be necessary for the survivors of the hypothetical collapse to return the real fruits of the Earth. They will need to learn how to recreate paper from scratch.

Paper from the raw Earth

Chinese civilization was the first to develop paper, perhaps more than a thousand years before it appeared in Europe. But the ancient Chinese did not use the same type of paper that is widely used in society today. In fact, modern smooth and white paper is actually a very recent invention, dating only back to the late nineteenth century.

Before then, paper was mostly made out of tattered and recycled linen fragments. Linen itself is a type of fabric made from the fibres of flax plants. But in principle, paper can be constructed out of any plant that is fibrous in nature. Including from hemp, some types of coarse grass, even nettles.

Modern paper is uniquely light and strong, however, because it is made from fibres that consist mainly of cellulose. This chemical is actually present in all plants. The problem is, it is very difficult and labour intensive to remove cellulose from other plant chemicals. Traditionally, a process known as ‘retting’ would be required. Whereby plant stems are crushed and left to soak in stagnant water for a few weeks. During which the structure is broken down and decomposed by microorganisms. But even after the stalks are softened, the cellulose usually has to be ‘beaten’ out of them by force.

Modern paper — made from tree trunks — is made from a type of cellulose that is intertwined with a very strong chemical called lignin. Fortunately, there is a way to separate the two with minimal effort — by implementing a chemical process known as hydrolysis.

Reinventing modern paper

Hydrolysis is a molecular operation that is used for a variety of reasons across the industrialised world, and making modern paper is no exception. It involves chopping up wood into small pieces and placing it into a vat of boiling alkaline solution for a few hours. The corrosive alkali will soon begin to break down the chemical bonds …

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In praise of the humble Hammock


Yes, those things your grandma used to relax in in her garden with a nice book are the way forward when camping.

Hammocks can keep you warm and dry these days – off the big- infested floor and with waterproof covers.

Floor’s damp from rain? Not a problem. Suspended between two trees, you don’t have to worry about creepy crawlies getting into your sleeping bag or resting your head on an uncomfortable surface. Camping hammocks use taut, technical fabrics and are very stable so you’re unlikely to flip out of them. Not the best at setting things up? Not a problem, most of them are easy peasy, much less of a head scratcher than tents.

To keep the autumn chill off your back as you sleep, you can attach one of the fitted “underquilts” that most companies offer—an insulated sling that sits under the hammock. And of course, your sleeping bag and standard sleeping pad will provide extra structure and warmth.

To suspend your hammock, simply wrap “tree straps” around two appropriately spaced trunks. Because this flat webbing is wider than rope, it won’t damage the bark. And tempting though it may be, don’t hang your hammock more than a few feet off the ground. It will be easier to climb in and out if the hammock is lower, and in the unlikely event of a suspension failure, you won’t have as far to fall.

We have listed a few of our faves below for you to take a little peek at:

Eagles Nest Outfitters Single Nest Hammock
Price: $59.95
This one comes in 21 different colors, making it easy to coordinate with your personal style and mix match with the family. It is high strength and can hold up to 400lb, features 70D high tenacity breathable nylon taffeta and triple interlocking stitching. The hammock itself weighs just 1 pound and can be bunched up into a softball-size bundle. ENO attempts to reduce potential waste by using every bit of fabric available in production so it’s eco-friendly, yay!

You can find it/alternatives here if you’re in the UK and here if you’re in Canada.

Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker Classic
Price: $239.95
This light favourite was designed with utility in mind and was eve based on the design of World War II Army hammocks. If this one tickles your fancy, you can look forward to enjoying the following features: A mosquito net sewn right in; a sleeve to hold your sleeping pad in place; a Velcro-sealed doorway allows for easy entry; and an asymmetrical shape allows you to lie across the centerline for a flatter position.

You can find it/alternatives here if you’re in the UK and here if you’re in Canada.

Kammok Roo
Price: $99.00
Lightweight but massive (about 10 feet long by 5½ feet wide), this hammock is an all-enveloping cocoon of strong ripstop fabric. Although it’s …

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Superglue for scalp wounds


I will give you a warning here, the following is going to show injuries and wounds, if you are weak of stomach or vomit easily you may want to skip this one.

In a SHTF situation, or you just don’t have the money to go to the doctor,  there are ways you can take care of yourself in a medical situation. Superglue is used in hospitals and Dr offices in place of sutures (stitches),  the idea is to keep the skin together long enough to heal.

This video is specifically for head wounds involving just the skin, obviously if you cracked your skull,  or are missing a chunk of scalp, I don’t think superglue will be much help.

Before we get to the video,  a quick disclaimer, we aren’t doctors or medical professionals, no one here on this site are responsible for anything you do or try yourself as a result of seeing or reading anything here,  if you are injured,  it is best to go see a doctor,  call 911, or seek out reputable medical help.


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Handy gadgets for your bug-out bag

Its vacation time – and here we are – on the road again…and wanting to travel light.
We thought we would share with you a few items that fit in a small rucksack and will improve your life and increase your chances of making friends along the way.
One thing is for sure – clean people are more socially acceptable – especially when arriving in a strange area for the first time. The Scrubba Wash Bag – $45 from Amazon.com is a great way to make up for the fact that you are secretly sleeping in your car.

This magic bag promises to help you stay cleaner and therefore more welcome. You simply push the sweaty and smelly clothes you slept in, into the bag, add some warm water and detergent, lock the bag and rub it for 15 minutes and tada! clean clothes for the road. Check it out.

Offering a cup of quality coffee is a great way to break the ice – but it can set you back $3 a pop – or more in cities.The MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker is a compact travel mate for the coffee-lover on the move. The tiny device fits in the pocket and does not need electricity or battery (let alone a Wi-Fi connection). It relies on the user pumping it to brew a strong cup.

Fancy ingratiating yourself with something stronger? Tabletop Moonshine Still allows you to practise the science of booze-making anywhere. It will bulk up your bug-out bag but at $180 its a great deal – included is a half-gallon still, piping, an ice bucket , all made of the non-reactive Type 304 stainless steel that’s used in premium cookware , as well as a packet of turbo yeast and instructions. It’s straightforward to set up, requires no running water or complicated cooling systems, and yields roughly 7 to 12 ounces of hard alcohol per batch of low strength solution.

With all those new friends you will be wanting to take some selfies to email them later and/or upload to your social media. But carrying a fancy DSLR camera around is both a magnet for thieves and an extra heavyweight item. A pair of Photojojo’s magnetic lenses for only $30 can turn a smartphone into a fancy camera. The collection has six lenses, but we recommend the wide angle/macro lens and the telephoto (2x), and each is crafted out of solid aluminium and outfitted with thick, high-clarity glass.

Happy Travels. Happy Holidays!

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Encyclopedia of homemade tools website review

I am always on the lookout for websites where you can learn about DIY, I recently found a fun site all about homemade tools, this site is a repository of links to other sites, they and their readers add more and more links. They refer to themselves as an encyclopedia of over 22,000 homemade tools.

I found it because they had linked to some of my DIY pages (with links back to the original post), I was happy enough for them to include some of our ideas, sharing the wealth (knowledge) is all good.

You can find the site here

Give them a look around, be sure to bookmark the site so you can return later. They say:

We find homemade tools across numerous forums, and organize them in one place, always with full credit to the original builder and site. HomemadeTools.net is updated multiple times daily with new homemade tools.
Browse homemade tools by category!

See all homemade tools in over 150 different categories, including Woodworking, Metalworking, and Automotive.

If you are into DIY, then this is the place for you! Be sure to check out their other “build” sites linked from there, I think the one about 4×4’s and cabins have lots of good information.

web statistics

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49 Raw Food Recipes

rawfood_hat50 Raw Food Recipes
Audrey & Matt

You may:
– already be following a raw food diet (100% or less)
– know about raw food and want to learn more about how to prepare certain dishes
– be completely new to it

Regardless, this post will get you through 50 delicious raw food recipes as they should be eaten, leading you to a life where you:
can eat tasty meals everyday without putting on weight.
can have deserts that don’t make your insulin spike in your blood stream.
can enjoy creamy dishes even if you’re lactose intolerant.
can still eat ‘pasta’ and be gluten-free!

Processed and junk food are too easily available and marketed outrageously, it is difficult to
follow the path of health. That’s why we want to share our passion for healthy and real food
with you and make you aware of the infinite possibilities that the raw food diet allows.

In the raw food diet you will find only:
– vegetables
– fruits
– nuts and seeds
– seaweed

In the raw food diet you are avoiding all the “bad foods” which are unhealthy for you:
– dairy
– gluten
– animal products
– refined and processed food

When eating or juicing raw food you will need to choose organic food as often as you can in
order to eliminate:
– pesticides,
– herbicides,
– synthetic fertilizers etc
These chemicals are harmful to your health. And you wouldn’t want it anymore once you
realize that organic products may be tastier and more nutritious.

With the raw food diet, you are making the most of the “good foods” by not heating above
115degrees. In fact, you are dehydrating instead of cooking the food. Why is cooking above
115degrees bad? Several reasons:

– It destroys enzymes. Enzymes are essentials molecules in the digestion process and
the absorption of food nutrients
– It changes the molecular structure of the food. The food then becomes
unrecognizable by the body which triggers a defensive reaction by sending white
blood cells for protection
– It destroys the nutrients of the food

By cooking the food above 115 degrees, you are making your food “dead”, i.e.: without
enzymes or nutrients.

The satiety feeling we have is caused by the body’s demand to have enough nutrients to
function for a certain period of time. With food deprived of nutrients and enzymes, your
body will keep on telling you to eat until it feels it gets what it asks for. Your tendency is to
eat more that you should really be eating.

Raw food is the ultimate diet for achieving and maintaining good health and ideal weight, a
great well-being and staying young so go ahead and immerse yourself in the kitchen with all
the recipes you are about to try!


Table of Contents – Download Link to full PDF at end

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How about a shed for a cabin?


There is a big movement, well maybe it’s a “small” movement :) using sheds for cabins or even your full on home, it’s a good way to have a ready made structure without having to build it yourself from scratch.

LaMar Alexander takes us on a tour of various sized sheds, he explains the pros and cons of each type, and how to improve these simple structures to convert them into something you can live in.

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