Monday, October 2, 2017

The Importance Of Water Storage



By Forest Puha

As of this writing, I’m watching the residents of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria and search around their areas for fresh water to drink. Federal aid workers and rescue squads of all types are gradually coming into the island, but with electrical power lines broken and roadways cluttered with debris, help is slow in coming. This article will cover some points about storing water that I think can be useful in your home.

Analyze how many people you have in your immediate family. You should have at least one gallon of water per person, more in hot weather or depending on personal needs. FEMA emergency guidelines say to have enough for three days at minimum, for both drinking and basic sanitation. I have a couple of clear five-gallon plastic jugs that supplies my family with the minimum amount of water. These jugs are available in your local grocery or retail store for relatively cheap, and to refill them in-store can be done for a couple of dollars.



These are common and found everywhere. Get ones with screw on caps.



It’s also a good idea to buy a pallet of commercially bottled water and store it in a cool and dark place.






These pallets are good for both storing in your car and at home, but not as reusable as a larger jug.



If you have your own containers to store water in, make sure you completely wash them out with regular dish washing soap, hot water, and a teaspoon of unscented chlorine bleach. Seal and shake them up before emptying and rinsing out. This will help kill any bacteria growing inside the bottles and caps and keep you from getting sick.



When you run out of stored water, there are also a number of ways you can purify water around you. Make sure any water you intend to drink comes from a reasonably clean source. Sealed water heaters are your best bet for potable water with minimal treatment. Once that’s done, you can treat your water in the following ways:

Boiling: usually the safest and most common method of making drinking water. In a large stove pot or tea kettle (even better if it’s copper for additional antibacterial properties) cover the pot or kettle with a lid and bring the water to a boil for at least a minute. Let it cool to the touch before drinking or storing, as excess heat will burn skin and melt plastic.





A watched pot never creates Cryptosporidiosis.





Chlorinating: only unscented household liquid bleach with a minimum of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite will kill organisms inside the water and make it safe to drink. The rule of thumb is to add 16 drops, or about 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach, per gallon of water. Shake well and let it work for half an hour. The water will smell slightly of bleach, and that’s perfectly normal. If it doesn’t, repeat the dosage and let it stand for another 30 minutes. If you still don’t smell the bleach, it’s beyond the ability of bleach to sterilize it. And remember: ONLY unscented household liquid bleach will work for drinking. Don’t use scented bleach, sprays or any other substance that may harm you when ingested.



Chlorine tablets also work well too. Use as directed.



Distillation: this process involves collecting the water vapor that condenses from boiling. The condensed vapor is usually rid of bacteria through the process. A quick way to distill is to angle a metal or glass baking sheet above the spout of a tea kettle, so that the rising steam will collect and drip down the inside of the baking sheet into a bowl or cup below as the kettle whistles. There are many ways to distill water with a boiling method, and all are useable in a situation with no electricity.




 From the National Self Reliance Association. How to build a small water still. Salt water can be substituted with the cleanest water you can find for distilling.



In an emergency, water is life and the key to survival. Make sure you have enough on hand to last you for as long as the emergency lasts, and you’ll be able to think straight and tackle any other problems that come your way.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

SHARPENING KNIVES BY HAND

SHARPENING KNIVES BY HAND

Photos by Craig Woods
Article by Heather and Kevin Harvey, Master Bladesmiths with the American Bladesmith Society and members of the Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa
Hardworking hands in the photos – Kevin Harvey – fulltime bladesmith
As a child you may have watched your granddad restore the edge on a knife, seemingly by magic.  His old oil stone with its swayback from years of use, the smell of the oil and his leather strop are the props you remember from his magic performance.  Years later you dug out the props and tried his magic, but it didn’t work.  You had seen it being done, it wasn’t magic, but a lost art.

Anyone with the most basic tools can sharpen any edged item easily when shown how.  There are many good gadgets out there that you can buy to help “set up the correct angle” for sharpening, but you can just as easily learn to sharpen by hand.  Sharpening gadgets limit what you can sharpen, whereas sharpening by hand has no limitations.  You can sharpen an axe or a cut-throat razor using the same basic tools.

The equipment we use to sharpen by hand are Arkansas stones which you can buy in different “hardness’s”, soft, medium and hard.  “Soft” will remove a lot of material where as “hard” will be used to just touch up an edge.  Diamond hones are wonderful and also come in different “grits”, if you only buy one, buy a medium grit.  We like to use water on the diamond hones and olive oil on the stones for kitchen knives, otherwise light oil or paraffin.  Remember to wash the stones/hones  after use with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and water to remove the steel grit that is left after sharpening.  A leather strop is important as the last step in sharpening is to remove the burr that you create during sharpening.  A makeshift strop can be an item as simple as a piece of firewood, your leather belt or the rubber sole of your boot, after all only you only need to flex the burr backwards and forwards, until it breaks off.

Other useful sharpening tools are tapered diamond rods for sharpening serrated edges and fold-up portable small diamond hones that you can carry with you on camping/hunting trips. 

Useful hints are to use a damp dishcloth to secure your stone to your kitchen table and protect the counter surface.  Carry a portable sharpener on your excursions and don’t be afraid to sharpen by hand.  Practise on a few of your cheaper kitchen knives until you master the skill, then you won’t be nervous about sharpening your custom made hunting knife.

People are obsessed with “keeping the correct angle” when sharpening, but it is not critical, so long as you are consistant with the angle you have chosen.  Sharpening angles differ depending on the type of knife and the work it is expected to do.  You should not put a razor edge on an axe, just as you wouldn’t put a chisel edge on a filleting knife.  You want your edge to match the purpose of the knife. 

Lubricate the stone/hone with water or olive oil (tastes nicer than paraffin!) and cut into the stone as if trying to shave off a slice of the stone.  Keep your angle constant and sharpen all areas of the cutting edge, from where it starts near the handle all the way to the point.  Repeat on the other side of the cutting edge.  Keep sharpening until you can see a “burr” (bright shiny ribbon of steel) on the entire cutting edge.  It is now time to strop off the burr on the back of a leather belt.  Your knife is only truly sharp once the burr has been removed otherwise the burr just folds over your sharpened cutting edge, making the knife feel blunt.  Stropping is done by dragging the cutting edge over the strop, (opposite to cutting into the stone) swapping sides, at a slightly steeper angle than you sharpened at.  You will only need to strop a couple of times before you see the burr break off. 

To test for sharpness, see if the edge will bite into your nail when gently pushed onto it at an angle.  Test the entire cutting edge and if any part of it “slides” off the nail and does not “bite”, you will need to re-sharpen that area of the blade.

CAPTIONS TO THE PHOTOS

Variety

Shows various different sharpening stones and diamond hones.

Showing the angle

This would be a good angle (15˚ to 20˚ ) to use for a general purpose knife.

Pushing into the stone

Sharpen by pushing into the stone as if trying to lift a postage stamp off the stone.  A diamond hone is used in this photo with water as lubrication.

Arkansas stone

A natural sharpening stone (not carborundum) is used with olive oil as lubrication.

Serrations

Serrations can easily be sharpened with a tapered diamond rod, one tooth at a time.

Portable diamond hones

Very handy to carry with you while camping or hunting to touch up knives.  Keep your angles the same as you would on the sharpening stone.  With these small sharpeners, the sharpener is moved over the cutting edge, as opposed to the edge moved over the stone as with the larger sharpeners.

The burr

After sharpening you will see the raised burr which needs to be removed by stropping to achieve a sharp edge.

Stropping

The most important part of achieving a sharp knife is the stropping after sharpening to remove the burr that you have created.

Testing sharpness


Carefully and gently push the entire blade, section by section, into your thumb nail at an angle.  Where it “bites” it is sharp, where it “slides” it needs to be re-sharpened.

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Guidelines for Safe Usage of Colloidal Silver




Story at-a-glance
·         There are three distinctly different types of silver products on the market that are all labeled and sold as "colloidal" silver: ionic silver, silver protein, and true colloidal silver. While ionic silver and silver protein are the most prevalent in the market, they contain very little or no colloidal silver and can do more harm than good.
·         Colloidal silver has been known as a remarkably effective natural antibiotic for centuries. But in past several decades, research has shown colloidal silver can eradicate antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA, the Avian Influenza (bird flu), and Human Corona virus (SARS).
·         Since there are health risks involved if you select the wrong formula, it is recommended you use colloidal silver only under the guidance and supervision of a qualified alternative health practitioner, who can help you select a high-quality product.


The Silver Safety Committee has announced its creation of the Silver Safety Pyramid, which is designed to enable anyone to easily determine safe usage levels of any dietary supplement containing silver, typically referred to as ionic silver or colloidal silver.
The Silver Safety Committee consists of doctors, chemistry professors and world leaders in health-freedom advocacy.
According to Herbert Slavin, M.D., director of the Institute of Advanced Medicine in Lauderhill, Florida, and a member of the Committee:
"This is an area where confusion and concern developed needlessly. Few things in life are as cut-and-dried as the fact that silver is completely safe when used within normal limits. The U.S. government provides a very clear guideline for the safe oral intake of silver. We've simply provided an easy method for applying that guideline to the safe use of any silver supplement product."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a guideline called the Reference Dose (RfD) for safe limits on daily intake of silver. The EPA's RfD guideline is specifically intended to keep a person's intake of silver below the level that could possibly discolor the skin.
Says Jeffrey Blumer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Drug Research, the world's largest clinical research center for pediatric drugs, and former director of the Greater Cleveland Poison Control Center:
"Common substances like table salt and aspirin are harmless with normal use, but excessive intake can become toxic and even life-threatening. With normal responsible usage, silver supplements are entirely harmless to humans."
The Silver Safety Pyramid is based on the Committee's Silver Safety Guideline, which recommends that a person's intake of silver from dietary supplements be limited to 25 percent of the EPA's recommended limit for total daily intake of silver.
It utilizes the Silver Safety Calculation, a simple mathematical formula that enables a person to easily determine how much to take of any silver-containing product to remain within the safety guidelines.
The EPA RfD guideline is expressed in terms of micrograms of silver. Virtually all silver supplements, on the other hand, are labeled in terms of parts per million (ppm), which is the concentration of silver in the water, not micrograms. With the Silver Safety Calculation, you just plug in your pounds of body weight and the ppm of silver in whatever silver supplement you're using, and it calculates the appropriate limits for you.
The Silver Safety Calculation is simple enough: 12 times pounds divided by ppm equals drops per day.
The Silver Safety Pyramid provides guidelines for determining safe usage limits from three perspectives:
·         Daily use
·         Short-term use
·         Entire lifetime
"This is useful information for everyone interested in using silver for health," Dr. Baird added. "If people follow these guidelines, they can use silver supplements while remaining fully confident they are not exposing themselves to any risks whatsoever."
The Committee's website includes the Silver Safety Auto-Calculator, which automatically performs the math in the Silver Safety Pyramid for you. The site also has an Education & FAQ section, which helps clarify the meanings of terms like ppm, ionic silver, colloidal silver, and more.
The website is http://www.silversafety.org.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
There are several types of silver products on the market. Some are healthy alternatives to antibiotics while others can be downright dangerous to your health.
Three Types of 'Colloidal' Silver – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
According to a Commercial Product Report by Silver-Colloids.com,1 a site that provides detailed laboratory analyses of colloidal silver products, there are three distinctly different types of silver products on the market that are all labeled and sold as "colloidal" silver:
  1. Ionic silver
  2. Silver protein
  3. True colloidal silver2
This misrepresentation of colloidal silver by less scrupulous manufacturers has no doubt led to some of the more negative connotations to colloidal silver. When purchasing colloidal silver, it's very important to make sure you're getting true colloidal silver, because, as you will see, the other two varieties of silver may do far more harm than good.
Since there are health risks involved if you select the wrong formula, I recommend you use colloidal silver only under the guidance and supervision of a qualified alternative health practitioner, who can help you select a high-quality product.
Ionic silver solutions – Silver solutions are typically clear like water or have a slight yellow tint. The producers of ionicsilver solutions will tell you that colloidal silver should look like clear water, but this is incorrect, so don't be fooled. The term colloidal means particles, not ions.
To determine whether a solution is ionic silver, add regular table salt (sodium chloride) to it. If silver ions are present, then the chloride ions will combine with the silver ions and create a white, cloudy appearance. For more detailed instructions on how to do this, please see the Silver Colloids website.
Ionic silver is not entirely without merit, but since ionic silver products contain such a low percentage of silver particles, these products will not be as effective as true colloidal silver, which has a much greater particle surface area3 relative to the total silver content.
Ionic silver is still a strong anti-microbial, and can be effectively used in situations where chloride is NOT present. When chloride is present – such as inside your body – then what little silver particle is present in the solution will survive to produce benefit, but again, not nearly as effectively as a true colloidal solution.
Please be aware that most all "colloidal silver" generators sold for home use produce ionic silver solutions, and not true colloidal silver.
Potential Danger – Low. If you take ionic silver products according to the manufacturer's recommended dosage, ionic silver will not cause argyria, a condition that causes your skin to turn blue-gray.
Silver protein – Silver protein products are the second most prevalent type of so-called colloidal silver products on the market. These products are a combination of metallic silver particles and a protein binder to keep the particles in suspension. One tip-off that it's a silver protein product is if it claims to have high concentrations of colloidal silver (typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 ppm).
Of the three types of colloidal silver, silver protein products have the lowest particle surface area for a given silver concentration, making the silver inaccessible for safe and effective absorption by your body. Because of this, you want to avoid all silver protein products.
To find out whether you have a silver protein product rather than a true silver colloid, look for these characteristics:
  • Foaming: When shaken, a silver protein product produces foam above the liquid that will persist for minutes after being shaken. This is probably the single most reliable indicator.
  • Concentration: Silver protein products tend to have very high concentration values, typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 ppm.
  • Color: The color ranges from light amber to almost black with an increasing concentration of silver.
Potential Danger – High. Due to the high concentration of large silver particles, silver protein products are known to cause argyria, which turns your skin blue-gray color.
True colloidal silver – True colloidal silver products are the least prevalent type of colloidal silver on the market due to the high cost of production. In true colloidal silver, the majority of the silver content is in the form of silver particles. True colloids will typically contain between 50 and 80 percent particles, while the balance will be silver ions.
Because of the high concentration of silver particles, true silver colloids are never clear like water. True colloidal silver with a sufficient concentration of particles does not look like water because silver particles – even very small particles – block light from passing through, making the liquid appear darker.
Potential Danger – None. Due to the very low concentration of ionic silver and small particle size, true silver colloids do not cause argyria.
What Is Colloidal Silver Useful For?
Colloidal silver has been known as a remarkably effective natural antibiotic for centuries. But in past several decades, research has shown colloidal silver can even eradicate antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA,4 the Avian Influenza (bird flu), and Human Corona virus (SARS).
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Robert O. Becker at Syracuse Medical University began his groundbreaking research into colloidal silver. He later concluded:
"What we have done was rediscover the fact that silver kills bacteria, a fact which had actually been known for centuries… All of the organisms we tested were sensitive to the electrically generated silver ion, including some that were resistant to all known antibiotics… In no case were any undesirable side effects of the silver treatment apparent."
However, silver's innate anti-microbial effect was actually common knowledge among doctors some 60 years before Becker's time. In fact, in the early 1900s, Alfred Searle, founder of the global Searle Pharmaceutical Company, had already discovered that silver in its liquid colloidal form could kill even the most deadly of pathogens. In his book Colloids in Biology and Medicine, 1919, Searle wrote:
"Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results… it has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin."
Unlike prescription antibiotic drugs, silver does not create resistance or immunity in pathogens killed by it.
Recent Research Espousing the Virtues of Colloidal Silver
Over the past few years, several new studies have demonstrated the fact that silver is one of the most effective agents in the battle against MRSA and other deadly antibiotic-resistant super pathogens, including the:
  1. Brigham-Young Clinical Study – This study, published in the journal Current Science in 2006,5 found that a number of the antibiotic drugs which had previously been able to kill MDR (multiple drug-resistant) pathogens, such as MRSA, could be restored to full efficacy against the deadly pathogens, but only if a liquid silver solution similar to colloidal silver was used in conjunction with the drug.
  2. Iranian Clinical Study – This study6 also found that silver increases the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs against staph infections. The researchers concluded:
"The antibacterial activities of penicillin G, amoxicillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, and vancomycin were increased in the presence of silver nano-particles (Ag-NPs) against both test strains. The highest enhancing effects were observed for vancomycin, amoxicillin, and penicillin G against S. aureus."
  1. Taiwanese Clinical Study – Published in the journal Colloids Surface B Biointerfaces7 in 2007, this study demonstrated that colloidal silver, by itself, eradicates both MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, another deadly and extremely opportunistic superbug.
  2. Czech Clinical Study – Likewise, this Czech study published in the prestigious Journal of Physical Chemistry B8 in 2006, also demonstrated that colloidal silver was a highly effective agent against MRSA:
"…silver particles with a narrow size distribution with an average size of 25 nm, which showed high antimicrobial and bactericidal activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including highly multi-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The study further demonstrated that very low concentrations of silver could be utilized to destroy MRSA, as long as the silver particles were very small, averaging 25 nm."