Should we be concerned about the new Covid variant

The new Omicron strain of COVID-19 could be really bad, and we may not know how bad for weeks

A new COVID-19 variant has been identified with some very concerning features. Dubbed Omicron, it’s rapidly spreading in the southern region of Africa and an increasing number of countries around the world, and the news has rocked government policy and financial markets over the last two days. Despite the drama, however, we don’t yet know

Is travel from Africa restricted

News roundup for Fri, Nov 26, 2021

There’s a new concerning COVID variant out there, also coming out of South Africa. This one, first dubbed Nu (now Omicron per the WHO) has over 30 mutations to its spike protein. These mutations could lead to immune evasion, meaning neither vaccines nor previous infection would be very protective. There are only about 1,200 cases

Steambow Stinger II crossbow review

Review: Steambow Stinger 2 “AR-6” repeating mini crossbow

Austrian company Steambow recently released the Stinger 2 AR-6 pistol crossbow and sent me a review sample. The basics: $330 street price 2.6 lbs 22-25 inches long (25 with stock extended), 17 inches wide at limbs 6 bolt magazine capacity Picatinny mounting rails and AR-15 stocks/furniture 55 pound limbs (the arms that bend when cocked)

Has a man intentionally ploughed through a holiday parade in Wisconsin

News roundup for Tue, Nov 23, 2021

Justin Trudeau has sent the military into British Columbia to help flood recovery efforts. Residents are being limited to the purchase of 30 liters or less of gas per gas station visit, and travel along washed out routes is restricted. 14,000 residents are still displaced. Russia and China are performing joint military air exercises and

Two brown rabbits

Rabbit starvation: Why you can die even with a stomach full of lean meat

“You’ll starve to death if you only eat rabbit meat” is one of those common refrains you learn when getting into survival. It’s a fun fact you might share over a beer or to show off how woodsy you are to your LARPer friends. And while it’s actually true and worth understanding why, it doesn’t

Is the chip shortage affecting the installation of heated seats and steering wheels

News roundup for Fri, Nov 19, 2021

The port in Los Angeles is still clogged despite the move to 24/7 operations. As I said before, you can make an operation go 24/7, but you can’t produce trained personnel overnight. Amid tension on the Ukraine border and a Middle East migrant crisis on the Belarus/Poland border, Belarus is playing hardball and cutting off

Midland GMRS radios

Why and how to get a GMRS license

We here at The Prepared are big proponents of getting your ham radio license so you can communicate effectively without the grid. But not everyone has the time or inclination to study for the requisite licenses. And even if you have a ham license, your loved ones may not. The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

Has a Russian military test created dangerous space debris

News roundup for Tue, Nov 16, 2021

The US and European allies warn that Russia could be planning a push into Ukraine. In response, France and the UK have vowed to help Ukraine defend itself. Some in the UK’s parliamentary defense committee fear that Russia could be setting its sights on more than just Ukraine—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania could also be at

Is vaccination protection already waning for the elderly

News roundup for Fri, Nov 12, 2021

The internet went down briefly across wide swathes of the US this week but was restored relatively quickly: The FDA has announced hundreds of drug shortages—everything from insulin to iron dextran to Narcan. Check with your pharmacies to make sure your next refill can be filled. If you run into trouble try filling your prescriptions

Did the infrastructure bill pass

News roundup for Tue, Nov 9, 2021

A self-driving farm vehicle called the Carbon Robotics Autonomous Laserweeder lasers away weeds and eliminates the need for chemical herbicides. It can work during the day or night. It’s very cool technology. Meat packing plants are still having trouble finding workers. This does not bode well for meat prices. Cod may disappear entirely from British

Have two middle schoolers rescued their bus driver

News roundup for Fri, Nov 5, 2021

The Pentagon noted a buildup of military assets on the Russian border earlier this week. Today, Russia cut off a large portion of gas to Europe through a pipeline in Poland. 90,000 troops are estimated to be at Russia’s western border. Some in Germany see this as a strong-armed attempt at forcing their hand into

Has a geomagnetic storm hit North America

News roundup for Tue, Nov 2, 2021

Fertilizer prices have spiked, and this could fuel already existing inflationary pressure through elevated food prices: Water scarcity in the Western US already exists and it’s going to get worse in the future. A town in Colorado is a proverbial canary in the coal mine. Twenty years of drought and a dry reservoir forced emergency

Are vegetables more expensive than meat in China

News roundup for Fri, Oct 29, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency says it has a plan to address problems with water infrastructure and sanitation for Native American communities. The EPA will work with the National Tribal Water Council to address inequities in access to indoor plumbing and safe drinking water. Scores of millions of dollars of grants for these projects are ready