Zombie Responder on Hiatus

Due to events in other aspects of my life, I'm forced to put Zombie Responder on hold for a while.

I hope to be back at it soon, tough...


Deepest Condolences to the Family of John Jones

I wanted to express my sympathy for those close to Utah caver, John Jones, who died November 26th, 2009 after over 24 hours of intense rescue efforts failed to free him from his confined trap.

The latest information is that he will not be removed from the cave; and that it will, instead be sealed off and become is final resting spot.

Thanks and thoughts go out to all those involved in the rescue effort, as well.

Click here for the full story.


"How Can I Help?"

OK. So your life and home were spared from the big tornado/earthquake/flood/hurricane that just ripped through your area. You take a moment or two to gain your composure, then begin to think about all the people who weren't so fortunate. And you want to help.
credit: Gene Dailey/American Red Cross

But where do you start?


If You Only Learn To Tie One Knot...

...Make it the figure eight knot. This is a very versatile and relatively strong knot that's easy to learn and execute. With just a little variation, it can function as a stopper, a bend, a hitch and a loop.

The basic form of the figure eight knot (shown above) is meant to act as a stopper, to keep a rope from running out of another knot or a retaining device. It's superior to an overhand knot in that it doesn't bind under stress and can be untied when it's no longer needed. An overhand knot, on the other hand, will often be locked tight, requiring it to be cut off, rather than untied. The figure eight knot also retains more of the rope's breaking strength (roughly 75%), compared to the overhand knot, which nearly halves the strength of the rope.


Preparing for "Zero-tolerance" Policies

I hope you've been following the Matthew Whalen story out of New York. The seventeen year-old Eagle Scout and aspiring West Point student was suspended for twenty days for having a 2" pocket knife in a survival kit that was locked up in his car on school grounds.

While I want our kids and teachers to be safe, I think that mindless policies are not the way to go about it. That knife, which isn't even considered a weapon by New York State Law, was no more dangerous than a baseball bat or even a fork in the wrong hands.

Consider, also, Zachary Christie, the Delaware first-grader who was suspended for 45 days for bringing a "hobo tool" to school to eat his pudding. While the school board in Zachary's case eventually came to their senses about the matter, Mathew Whalen's family has had to hire a lawyer to try and get the incident rectified.

So where does that leave us law-abiding folks who are simply concerned about our kids being prepared for an emergency?