Nothing New to Add for the Time Being

I haven’t added any new categories recently because I just haven’t encountered any new ones worth bothering with. I’ve been working on getting some of the Library printed out and bound into books for my own shelf.

I haven’t really run into any new books that would suggest a new category. If I do dig one out for some purpose or another that suggests searching out similar ones and that bunch seems to warrant setting up a new category I will certainly do so.

As of now the Library contains most of my collection though I have a few cds and hard drive directories of books still here and there which haven’t been cataloged.

The Library contains most of the categories of information that anyone could need for rebuilding an 1800′s level of technology at everything from the home level to the industrial level. There are undoubtedly gaps in the information but with something like 7,000-8,000 books on everything from Accounting to Zymurgy it’s a several lifetimes worth of knowledge and a pretty comprehensive base of technical knowledge.

Feel free to grab and store as much of it as you wish. Hard Drives and CDs are cheap. A metal trash can with a lid (i.e. a Faraday Cage) in which to store them and a spare laptop is pretty cheap too.

If we ever have an EMP event like the one that just barely missed us 2 years ago you’ll thank God that you did and that you have the knowledge available to you.

The Librarian

2014-06-18 Botany Category Added

I’ve just added a Botany Category with over 100 boks on Botany generally dating form the late 1800s through the early to mid 1900s. Scary to think that some of them are half as close in tome to the last time I took a Botany course as today’s date is.

As with most books in the Library the predate much to modern knowledge and technology but for that very reason they don’t relay on or assume access to most modern technology, especially the very technology which would be rendered useless by something like a EMP event which destroyed the electrical grid for a generation or two.

I’m finding them useful in some of my own projects testing and learning how to grow and harvest without modern technology where feasible. Hopefully some of you will find them useful as well.
There’s more in the Library Updates & Additions forum.
The Librarian

2014-05-15 Primer Category Added

I’ve added a new Category named Primers. It’s not specific to one particular subject since it contains Primers from a range of subject areas. Some of them are duplicate listings for books in other specific subject Categories but it seemed like a good idea to put introductory texts all together.

That way they are easy to find and if you’re looking for intro texts on specific areas you can always find any Primers in this category. I figured it might makes some of the areas more accessible too if a Primer for the areas was easily accessible.

Many of them though are Primers that either don’t appear in other specific subject areas or ones on subject which don’t easily fit into existing subject categories.

Hope you find some of them useful.

Update:
It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had any significant time to devote to cataloging and posting additional books. With the weather turning nice finally I’ve been putting in significant amounts of time traipsing through the woods tagging wild blueberry bushes, making copious notes of each plant and choosing which to take cuttings from. I’ve gotten several hundred cuttings started from various bushes that have desirable characteristics like prolific production and taste.

Some of the them are early bloomers, some later. Some produce large rabbiteye type berries, other produce smaller darker berries more like wild Maine varieties. Spent part of a day visiting with a professor at UNCW who is a recognized expert on blueberry cultivation and got some good pointers from him as well as getting a chance to see his propagation house. I now have 3 beds with cuttings outside working on propagating a few hundred plants. Once I’m confident the system I have in place is working I’ll start at least that many more working towards planting several acres of bushes early next year.

Also got a small bed (15′ x 8′) of Chandler strawberries planted last week and they seem to be doing quite well. Yesterday I got 144 Camarosa strawberry seeds put into a seedling tray and 100 Muskberries seeds.

The last is an interesting variety. Apparently it is becoming popular again in the U.K. It looks like a strawberry but is more yellow than red and according to the stories I’ve read, has a taste similar to Bubblegum. I figured it would be fun to grow some and find out. Might make an interesting table at the Farmer’s market if they do taste good and turn out to grow well here.

On top of all that the new Shed/Barn main structure is done finally and now I’m starting on the Lean-To structures which will be built on all 4 sides to provide some cover for the tractor, tractor implements and other outdoor equipment.

Add to that my ongoing book binding projects and I’m not sure how I find time to squeeze in my day job as well.

But I got the Primer collection posted and am slowly working on some others.

The Librarian

The Librarian

EMP is nothing to worry about according to D.C.

I’m not going to bother posting the link to the story since if you’re interested in the subject you almost certainly read it. If you aren’t then it wouldn’t matter anyway.

Another group of experts on the power grid tried once more to inform Congress and the D.C. establishment about the potential consequences of a Carrington level Solar flare on the world… you know…the fact that something like 90% or more of the population of the U.S. would die within a few months of such an event.

Apparently the folks in D.C. were greatly underwhelmed by the information as as happened every time it’s been brought to their attention in the past. I guess it has to do with the fact that there is nothing in the issue that equates to more votes. Protecting the power grid doesn’t channel money to where it can influence votes. It doesn’t promote campaign contributions. It doesn’t enrich influential supports. In short it does absolutely nothing to increase a politician’s reelection prospects and is therefore DOA and of no interest to those in power.

Obviously the fate of those 90%+ constituents if not of any concern to a politician but then I would be surprised if anyone believed that any longer anyway.

What it does highlight for those of us who do take such things seriously is that we’re completely on our own. The government, Federal and State has no interest whatever in doing anything to mitigate the potential consequences of an EMP event whether natural or manmade. So it’s entirely up to you as an individual to take whatever measures you believe will increase your chances for survival.

The Librarian

 

 

 

Okay I wrong… things CAN get more bizarre

Arizona is taking the lead in proactive EMP preparations…

Are they hardening the grid in their region? No.

Are they procuring backup equipment to replace destroyed transformers? No.

Are they storing backups of critical communications and power generation equipment? No.

Are they stockpiling emergency supplies? No.

They’re starting an educational program to inform their residents of what they need to store as emergency supplies in case an EMP destroys the power grid, eradicates modern electronics technology, shuts down the fuel and food distribution systems, turns off the transportation and communications networks and puts the water systems out of business.

80%-90% of the residents of Arizona will still die just they would have without such education but they will perhaps last a week or two longer with a few cases of bottled water and MREs tucked into the closet.

It’s hard to fathom that kind of thinking. Over the last couple of years as I’ve watched the Federal government do… absolutely nothing… after being clearly informed of the consequences of a natural or man made EMP event which would kill potentially 80%-90% of the U.S. population.

I kind of half way thought that eventually at least one of the states would understand the consequences and would try to take some kind of ameliorative action. Guess I was too optimistic.

So yes, as bizarre as it is to see the Federal government do nothing whatsoever in the face of something that Iran or North Korea (or the Sun) could do to us without the U.S. being bale to prevent it… things CAN get even more bizarre.

The Librarian

 

2014-04-25 Berry Category Added

I’m in the middle of a blueberry project which takes one to two years to complete. Since the soil that’s good for blueberries is also good for strawberries I’m got some strawberry plants on order for this summer.

I pulled all the strawberry related books from my collections to do some reading ahead of time and since I had them handy thought I’d go ahead and post them since they were on hand.

So a couple dozen strawberry (and a few on Blackberry/Raspberry and other small fruits) books are online in the new Berries Category.

The Librarian

Yet Another Depenence on Technology That’s About to Bite Us in the Backside

A new Article about antibiotic resistance (http://harvardmagazine.com/2014/05/superbug) is somewhat pessimistic about the issue of antibiotics. Though it does toss out a bone of hope in discussing some of the new drugs developed that help antibiotics defeat the function of bacteria that make them resistant.

The line that struck me so markedly was the line toward the end of the article that read:

“Antibiotic resistance raises the grim specter of a return to the medicine of a century ago.”

Which makes sense when you consider that most modern medical books about treatment of disease assume the availability and effectiveness of antibiotics. Take both of thoseĀ  away and modern medical books become significantly less useful.

Something to keep in mind about the collection of medical texts in the Library. While I would prefer being treated by a modern physician over one from WWI… given access only to the equipment and supplies from the WWI that choice becomes a bit more difficult to make.

  • Modern medical knowledge based on tools, equipment and supplies are not available or no longer function.
  • Medical knowledge from WWI based on tools, equipment and supplies that are fairly easily replicated.

Think about it a bit and you’ll see that it’s not an easy choice.

The Librarian

Technology and Dependence (Ignorance is Bliss)

I assume most folks who use the internet have encountered at least one of the many recent news reports about the vulnerability in the SSL system which used worldwide to provide security on websites.

It seems that the entire internet, every website that uses SSL, is vulnerable and that the assumed “security” provided by it for passwords, credit card transactions, banking and every other private transaction has been fatally flawed for close to two years. All this time the entire online world has been living in a fantasy world in which our communications, financial transactions and every other “secure” operation has been totally UNsecure.

I work in the IT world for an internet retailer and I spend a goodly portion of my time dealing with security issues. Finding out that the underlying cryptographic foundation of the entire World Wide Web and internet commerce is not only flawed but has BEEN fundamentally flawed for two years is… well it’s hard to find the words… an alarm bell, a warning siren, a wake up call? It’s hard to come up with words to describe how disturbing it is at a gut level.

Internet commerce and communications is a world wide phenomenon. A large part of the financial, communications, industrial and business world is integrally tied into the internet to such an extent that it’s probably impossible to disengage from it without fundamentally restructuring all of those parts of the technological and industrial infrastructure. Some parts of the economy would simply cease to exist without the internet. And that entire growth has been based on the understanding that it was possible to conduct communications and transactions in a secure, protect fashion.

Now we’re told that one of the foundations upon which all of that is built not only doesn’t work properly but hasn’t worked properly for 2 years.

Oh it will be fixed. Indeed it has already been fixed and a replacement is available to correct the problem quite easily.

But it begs the question… if something so vital and fundamental to business, to industry and to communications could be so fatally flawed for two years without most of the world being aware… what other potential or possibly active flaw is sitting out there as a part of the internet of which we are also totally unaware?

We are becoming increasingly tied to and dependent on a system that has suddenly been revealed to have had a rather amazing flaw in its security. Will that make anyone stop and rethink increasing dependency? Will anyone reconsider whether it’s wise to increase that dependency? Will there be any discussion of the possible consequences of a future failure of that technology on our lives?

Nah.

I’m not immune to it myself.

Yesterday, even after reading that story and checking to be sure we’re correcting the problem at work on our own websites, I placed an order online for a piece of bookbinding equipment after driving to a bunch of local stores and being unable to find what I needed. Even if I had found it locally I would have paid by credit or debit card which would have been processed… you guessed it… over the internet using the flawed SSL cryptography to their payment gateway.

I’ve been in the computer industry for 39 years now. The summer of 2015 will make it an even 40 years. I’ve watched the increasing dependence of the world on the expanding technological infrastructure and over the last 10-15 years I became at first concerned, later worried, more recently frightened until finally I’ve reached the point of acceptance of the fact that eventually that technological infrastructure is going to fail or break or be destroyed and the consequences are going to be catastrophic. Many people will survive it but a lot more, perhaps a majority in the industrial world, will not. I may not live to see it happen but I am as certain that it WILL happen eventually as I am that gravity works and that the sun will rise in the morning.

In 1859 a Solar Flare hit Earth and caused what is usually called the Carrington Event. It caused some fires at some telegraph stations, damaged portions of the telegraph network and created some remarkable Northern Lights seen almost as far south as the Equator. Other than those effects most people were unaware that anything unusual had occurred. The technological infrastructure was one that was, other than the nascent telegraph system, virtually immune to the effects of the EMP caused by the Solar Flare hitting Earth.

Today, as most of you know, an EMP of that magnitude, whether caused by a Solar Flare or a nuclear weapon exploded a few hundred miles overhead by a rogue nation, would utterly devastate the industrial world. Estimates are that 90% or more of the populations affected by the event would be dead within a few weeks to a few months. In the event of a Solar Flare EMP which affected the entire world the time required to rebuild technology and industry to today’s level would be measured in generations. Even in the event of a regional event caused by a nuclear device which left the rest of the world unaffected the death toll would probably still be well above 75% of the affected population and that regions recovery time would be measured in years, perhaps decades.

Despite all of those facts and the revelation this week of a fundamental flaw in the technological infrastructure nothing will be done to slow the industrial worlds growing dependence in that technology. Some meetings will be held, a few committees appointed to prepare studies which no one will read, a few talking heads on television will gain some face time, a few prepper retail sites will hold sales (how ironic is that?), a lot of news stories will be written and in a few days to a week the issue will disappear from the public consciousness to be forgotten.

Once again… Ignorance will be Bliss.

The Librarian

p.s. Two other news reports today caught my eye:

1. A Homeland Security study states that North Korea has the ability to launch an EMP attack at the U.S. with their existing warheads and missiles.

2. Kim Jong Un, the gentleman who controls North Korea’s nuclear weapons just had one of his “enemies” executed by flame thrower.

 

 

 

2014-04-02 McGuffey Readers Added to Teaching-Readers

The McGuffey Readers that I left out of the first posting of Teaching-Readers have been added to the category.

 

There is more information about them and the addition in the Library Updates & Additions Forum.

The Librarian

p.s. Still on track to get the Arithmetic and Math Category added sometime next week.