“The most beautiful animal you’ve never seen”

RR Helm writing at Deep Sea News:

When I first saw a sea sapphire I thought I was hallucinating. The day had been anything but normal, but this part will always stand out. I’d spent the afternoon on a small dingy off the coast of Durban, South Africa. It was muggy, and I’d been working for hours–-throwing a small net out, and pulling in tiny hauls of plankton that I’d then collect in jars. As I looked through one jar, the boat rocking up and down, I saw for an instant a bright blue flash. Gone. Then again in a different place. An incredible shade of blue. Maybe I’d been in the sun too long? Maybe I was seeing things? It wasn’t until I got back to the lab that I discovered the true beauty and mystery of these radiant flashes…

The small creature I’d found was a Sapphirina copepod, or as I like to call it, a sea sapphire. Copepods are the rice of the sea, tiny shrimp-like animals at the base of the ocean food chain. And like rice, they are generally not known for their charisma. Sea sapphires are an exception. Though they are often small, a few millimeters, they are stunningly beautiful…

…The secret to the sea sapphire’s shine is in microscopic layers of crystal plates inside their cells. In the case of blue sea sapphires, these crystal layers are separated by only about four ten thousandths of a millimeter; about the same distance as a wavelength of blue light. When blue light bounces off these crystal layers, it is perfectly preserved and reflected. But for other colors of light, these small differences in distance interfere, causing the colors to cancel out. So while white light is composed of all colors, only blue light is reflected back. This type of coloration is known as structural coloration, and though resembling a gem in hue, a sea sapphire’s color has more in common with an oil sheen than a pigmented jewel. Combine this nifty trick with the sea sapphire’s impressively transparent body, and you have an animal as radiant as a star in one moment, and invisible in the next…

I think I saw something like this once in Lake Erie, but it could have been some trash wrapped in aluminum foil.

Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News

Doug Ross @ Journal

Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”

SHTFplan Editor’s note: Our friend Selco at SHTF School will change everything you may think about your life in a post-collapse world. For many of us, the idea that the world around us may fall apart and lead to the worst that humanity has to offer is mostly theoretical. For Selco, it was a reality. He experienced a total grid-down collapse in war-torn Sarajevo during the 1990′s – and he lived to tell the tale. He has shared his knowledge with our community over the last few years, and in the article below he changes our perceptions once again. Just because we are making preparations – stocking food, or supplies or guns – means nothing if the mind is not prepared to comprehend the absolute horrors that may come.

Do you want to know what it will be like when law and order breaks down, when people turn on each other, and when there is no one to depend on except for those in your inner circle?

Then keep reading.

THIS IS REALITY.

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(Pictured: People scavenging for supplies run for cover in Sarajevo’s notorious Sniper Alley – 1992)
(Courtesy: Felix Features)


Walking the Line Between Human and Animal
by Selco

As many long term readers or members of my survival course know, I like to talk about the important but what some may call the “not so spectacular” part of survival that is not as much fun as, for example, talking about latest guns and gadgets.

Today I want to talk about dignity and what it means in a survival scenario. Before I talk from own experience, read the extract below from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin who describes what happened after his unit freed the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the second world war.

At the moment of his writing hundreds of people were still dying and it was place of pure horror.

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.

The importance of still being human and not becoming a complete animal is often overlooked for people who prepare for long term survival. I had over one year to fight against becoming like rats around our house during the war.

Expect to become more like an animal

You can have all equipment ready for SHTF – ammo, weapons, gear… you can even be perfectly well trained in lot of different skills and fields and still when SHTF you can end up dead in the first days just because you “refuse to believe” what’s happening.

It is that state of mind when a man simply does not want (or is not able) to comprehend the new situation.

It can be one quick life threatening situation like folks attacking your home and you just waited few seconds too long to shoot some attacker, and then you are dead, end of the story. Or it can be whole process of failing to recognize the new world around you and the new rules (or absence of rules) and then again you just not doing correct things for the situation, and again you end up dead.

Example would be that when SHTF you are trying desperately to have and use power generator and light all rooms in your houses just because it mean normal life for you. And that normal life is gone, and trying to bring it back in that situation usually means more troubles.

Holding on to all the comforts and behavior you are used to can be dangerous.

To make a long story short, what I am trying to say is that you may be trained and equipped like a SEAL team member and yet you can still be killed easily from some 70 years old dude, with even older rifle just because you were surprised when SHTF with amount of destruction and violence and you did not seen that old dude coming (or being so evil).

On the other side that old dude maybe lived through couple of SHTF events in his life, and he knows when it is time to act without hesitation and mercy.

There is still a fine line you have to walk between losing your human side and becoming pure animal.

One of the things that changed a lot when SHTF is fact that everything became really dirty.

It was something like slow process, first people tried to keep it as clean they could, but without all normal services, like garbage trucks, running water and all other community services that make normal living soon it simple became impossible.

Later all garbage was used somehow, but in beginning it started piling up everywhere, when you add to that ruins on the street, human waste and dead bodies it was very ugly picture.

After some time, we started to accept dirt outside and it then was priority to stay clean and keep clean only inside that small circle inside your home, and when I say „clean“ I do not mean „clean“ like today. Maybe as clean as we could be.

For example simply moving through the city in the middle of the night meant that you needed to crawl, jump, hide, walk or run trough all kind of things, and very often some real nasty and dirty things.

Many times I was hiding on places so dirty that stench was almost paralyzing, once in the middle of the night I jumped behind some wall because sudden shelling, and when I jumped there I realized that I landed on dead guy.

His face was smashed with broken wall, and partially buried, place there was so small that I had to actually lay on him for some 20 minutes. He died probably when wall from the house collapsed after some shelling, who knows.

Fire from the shelling was so strong that I actually loved that dead guy and that place in that moment. I almost hug him while I was trying to be as small as possible because pieces of steel and rock were flying around me just like some crazy rain, while my stomach was rising and floating from the detonations and smell.

All I was saying at that moment was „thank you, thank you, thank you“ like some magic words, and I even was not aware who do I thank to, that dead stinky guy, my brain for noticing that small space, or God for saving me.

Today years and years later I still carry that smell inside my nose. But I did not move from there before danger was gone. It is survival and luckily I was already used to dirt enough to just stay with that dead guy.

Some folks just stopped to care about cleanliness and hygiene completely. So for them washing and cleaning become something like not wanted luxury. They went complete animal.

They simply stopped to care about these things, so I also knew some guys with look and smell so awful that even dead guy smelled like perfume store.

It was easy to surrender to stuff like that, I mean in trying to keep yourself clean.

But it was stupid not only in terms of the hygiene and illnesses, also by surrendering yourself you admit that you do not care anymore, and when you admit that you are only few steps from becoming animal with what you do too. People give up on themselves.

For me being as clean as I could be had something like preserving one of the last connection with “normal” life, with life before sh!t hit the fan, when things like neighbors, breakfast, car etc, were just things we took for granted, like things that always gonna be there unchanged.

Of course I was aware that being clean is important in order to stay alive because all diseases problem, no doctors hospitals etc. but on some psychological level it kept me sane and it kept me normal man.

Even in survival situation you need to still care about few little things to keep your dignity, to keep spirit up, to not lose yourself. If you stop caring about everything it is like disease that eats you.

When I came back from trading or scavenging in the city, I would clean or wash myself thoroughly in my yard before entering my house, again of course because common sense, hygiene and diseases, but maybe even more important I tried to keep all chaos and violence, suffering outside of my home on some psychological level.

I try to stay out of the everything, or actually I tried to keep everything outside of my home, like some ritual. I would keep the clothes for outside in bag, my boots were in one corner, never entering my room in it etc.

One of my relative wears pink slippers (mittens) when he was home sometimes, he would say that he just felt that everything is fine when he wear it. It was spooky and strange to see him in pink slippers while outside world is going to hell, but we all have some strange ways I guess to keep ourselves sane. Maybe wearing those slippers after he was forced to shoot some folks kept him sane, reminded him on some normal times when grandma wear it in the evenings.

On the other side, like I said in beginning if you stick too much to old habits you are not doing best for survival too.

So if I had to be animal, I was animal. It was about survival. For example there was a period when I eat just to survive, like animal, without paying attention what I eat or how. If I found some food I ate it in quick way, if there was some food with worms in it, I would eat it in dark, without looking what I eat etc.

Point was (and still is) to be man, but to be ready to be animal if you are forced to be animal, and that’s it. It comes down to being flexible, adapting to situation and I hope this helps to crush the idea some Hollywood or fantasy survival scenarios show that survival is about being complete animal. No, it is fine line to walk.

You can (and you have to) have as much hand sanitizers, soap, disposable face masks etc. as you can but you can still end up dead if you are not ready to accept fact that one day you might be forced to „hug“ dead guy in order to survive, or eat roast rat or pigeon.

Once next collapse comes many people will wake up to reality and struggle to be human like they were or become animals and as skilled survivalist I hope you will walk fine line in between. The people who were walking that path were and I’m sure will be those who have biggest chances to survive.

You can follow Selco’s story at SHTF School and learn how he survived one year in hell. 

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More Excellent Reading From Selco:

A Survival Q & A: Living Through SHTF In the Middle of A War Zone

Advice From A Collapse Survivor: “RUN!” From Major Cities

The Reality of Combat: “Everything That You Have Prepared and Stored for SHTF Will Be Pushed to the Limit”


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Larwyn’s Linx: Keep Calm and Read Animal Farm

Send us tips! Bloggers: install a Larwyn’s Linx widget. Get real-time news, 24/7, at BadBlue.

Nation

Keep Calm and Read Animal Farm: MOTUS
We might as well put the Constitution out of its misery: Mark Steyn
Perverse Incentives and Perverse Decisions: James Simpson

The Pit at the End of the Rainbow: George Neumayr
How the NSA Collects your Internet Data in Four Charts: ZH
Is Obama Collecting Data on Gun Owners?: Patterico

Third Party? Palin warns GOP: Abandon us, we’ll abandon you: Scoop
Did Senators Really Tell Biden They’re Afraid of Cruz and Rand Paul?: NB
California Marriage Case: It’s Not Over Yet: Elizabeth Slattery

Economy

So Much for Patient Privacy: Koch’s Tour
USDA Tells Magician to Write Disaster Plan for His Rabbit: Bob McCarty
White House recruits librarians to promote ObamaCare: Fox News

Red – and I do mean red – herrings of the Left: Larry Sand, EAG
Paul Ryan Leading House for ‘Amnesty’ Deal: NewsMax
Coal-state Dems chisel away at Obama climate plan: Fox

Scandal Central

Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.: Bret Baier, Fox News
Hostage Crisis: The Blind Sheikh, Benghazi and Smoking Guns: Shoebat
Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of ‘collaboration’ with government: WaPo

Climate & Energy

Shocker: “Global Warming: Scientists’ Best Predictions May Be Wrong”: Ace
Wind power kills birds. Birds that Greenies are supposedly FOND of.: Moe Lane
Tropical depression strengthening in Pacific off Mexico: USA Today

Media

Washington Post Airbrushes Racist Trayvon-Related Headline: Ed Driscoll
Zimmerman Prosecution Has a Huge Problem: George Zimmerman re-enactment video with the police : Gretawire
The @Paula_Deen backlash: When is enough enough?: Sister Toldjah

Alec Baldwin’s anger management problems: he’s gotten away with bad behavior way too long: EBL
Nwe Guardian “Scoop” Sourced to Jew-Hating Conspiracy Theorist Wayne Madsen: American Power
Judge Jeanine Pirro slams the IRS for more employees pleading the 5th: Scoop

Rush Limbaugh: ‘Wait Until the Republican Party Hears About This’: Blaze
EXCLUSIVE: Capital One’s New Slogan, “What’s In Your Closet?”: Jim Hoft
Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, scrutinized over suspicious activity: Joseph Cotto

World

Obama Readies US Marines to Assist in Egypt… But Wouldn’t Send US Marines to Benghazi: Jim Hoft
U.S. prison warden: Muslim prayers led to Muslim gangs: Creeping
Mandela’s passing and the looming threat of a race war against South Africa’s whites: Daily Mail

The Mood of 1980: Victor Davis Hanson
England is no longer a free country: Datechguy
“You Can’t Say That in Austria”: Gates of Vienna

Sci-Tech

How a total n00b mined $ 700 in bitcoins: Ars Technica
Encryption Has Foiled Wiretaps for First Time Ever, Feds Say: Wired
University of Michigan activates antimatter ‘gun,’ cartoon supervillains twirl moustaches anew: Engadget

Cornucopia

Are You Real? Do You Lead From Your Heart?: Jeff Carter
Cheaper Than Dirt Have Lost Their Minds!: GunWire
6 brothers fought in World War II: Navy Times

Image: AP: Thousands of protesters gather in Tahrir Square to rally against Egypt’s Morsi
Sponsored by: Call Paul Ryan’s office now at (202) 225-3031 and tell him NO AMNESTY

QOTD: “Whatever you may think of the English Defence League (I’m not a fan, myself), yesterday’s arrest of its leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll was another example of inexcusable overreach by the Metropolitan Police – and not simply because of the implications around stopping two men walking down the street, but because of how much it’s going to cost you and I in the long run.

From what I can tell of the video of the incident, this will be an easy legal encounter for the EDL leaders, who will no doubt report the wrongful arrest to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and may well be able to drag the Met through the courts too.

But think about the costs involved in deploying the officers in the first place, the cars, the filming, the pre-briefings, the post-briefings, the paperwork and the presumptive legal battle. That’s an awful lot of wonga to drop to stop two thugs walking past an East London Mosque. And in any case, shouldn’t the burden of non-violence (is it a burden?) be on the side of those who would claim to be offended by the EDL presence?

I know they say that freedom isn’t free. It looks like tyranny costs a pretty penny too.” –Raheem Kassam

Doug Ross @ Journal