Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Introducing Google Earth 7

Introducing Google Earth 7:

Google has just unveiled Google Earth 7, packed with great new features.


First, as promised, the new "3D Imagery" is now available on the desktop. As expected, the imagery looks amazing when viewed from above, but kind of messy when you zoom in tight. This is something that will certainly improve in future releases.


For example, here is a high view of Austin, TX:


austin-high.jpg

Here is a lower-level view inside of Austin. Trees seem to have the most issues, but it varies quite a bit from area to area:


austin-low.jpg

As a nice touch, Google allows you to disable the new 3D imagery if you'd prefer to view the older 3D models. To do that, go into [Tools] --> [Settings] and uncheck the box for "Use 3D Imagery" as shown here:


legacy.jpg

In addition to releasing this feature on the desktop they've unveiled fresh new 3D imagery for Avignon, France; Austin, Texas; Munich, Germany; Phoenix, Arizona; and Mannheim, Germany.


They've also added the tour guide, very similar to what we saw released on Android earlier in the year. It flies you through famous landmarks, offers stats and info from Wikipedia, and you'll find quite a few to choose from. The tour guide can be enabled and disabled by using the [View] --> [Tour Guide] option in the menu bar.


tour-guide.jpg

All in all, it's an awesome update. The tours are fun and the new 3D imagery is stunning -- though it's nice to be able to toggle the old imagery for close-up shots. Go download Google Earth 7 here and leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Racism May Not Be “Natural” (But Being an Asshole Is)

Racism May Not Be “Natural” (But Being an Asshole Is):

From "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Brain scans have shown that when people see faces of other races, their amygdalas light up like home security systems.  Some tout this as evidence of hardwired racial bias, evolved to keep the oddly colored “other” out of home territory.  But as Robert Wright points out in this recent article, there would be few opportunities for interracial conflict in our geographically dispersed evolutionary past.  The “other” would primarily be distinguished by different visual cues such as tribal emblems, because hostile neighboring tribes would generally be of the same race.
More recent brain scan experiments done on children show that, like menstrual cramps and unstoppable boners, neurological race rage doesn’t kick in until after puberty.  While the question of “nature vs. nurture” is still open, this suggests that cultural forces are at work.
Wright’s line of reasoning is pretty solid when he says, “[T]hough we’re not naturally racist, we’re naturally ‘groupist.’”
Via The Atlantic:
There’s never been good reason to believe that human beings are naturally racist. After all, in the environment of human evolution–which didn’t feature, for example, jet travel to other continents–there would have been virtually no encounters between groups that had different skin colors or other conspicuous physical differences. So it’s not as if the human lineage could have plausibly developed, by evolutionary adaptation, an instinctive reaction to members of different races.
Nonetheless, people who want to argue that racism is natural have tried to buttress their position with evidence that racism is in some sense biological. For example: studies have found that when whites see black faces there is increased activity in the amygdala, a brain structure associated with emotion and, specifically, with the detection of threats.
Well, whatever power that kind of argument ever had–which wasn’t much, since the fact that a psychological reaction has a biological correlate doesn’t tell you whether the reaction is innate–it has even less power now. In a paper that will be published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Eva Telzer of UCLA and three other researchers report that they’ve performed these amygdala studies–which had previously been done on adults–on children. And they found something interesting: the racial sensitivity of the amygdala doesn’t kick in until around age 14.
What’s more: once it kicks in, it doesn’t kick in equally for everybody. The more racially diverse your peer group, the less strong the amygdala effect. At really high levels of diversity, the effect disappeared entirely. The authors of the study write that ”these findings suggest that neural biases to race are not innate and that race is a social construction, learned over time.”
There’s a reason the previous sentence says “suggest” and not “prove.” As the authors note, it’s conceivable that “the increasing amygdala response to race [with age] may be driven by intrinsic factors of the child, such as puberty, rather than exposure to cultural messages.” For that matter, the correlation between peer group diversity and dampened amygdala response doesn’t mean the former causes the latter; it could work the other way around: maybe people with a mild response to racial difference wind up with more diverse peers.
Read more here

Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars:
Over the next few weeks, we’re offering four opportunities to learn more about Google+ for your business. We kick off with a Learn with Google Hangout on Air with bestselling author +Chris Brogan on November 5th at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Chris will cover tactics for successful social marketing and discuss his new book, “Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything.” RSVP for the Hangout on the Google+ Event page






Learn Chris’s recipes for how to grow and engage your Google+ community to build your brand and drive your business’s visibility and conversions. Hear about Chris’s own experiences helping companies succeed in their content marketing and social projects. Chris Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author, CEO of Human Business Works, and advises companies on marketing, business strategy, communications and more.

If you have a question for Chris, leave your question as a comment on the Google+ Event.

Boost your success with Google+

Want to learn more about using Google+ for your business? Sign up for our Learn with Google webinars. Here are some great upcoming webinars to help you get the most out of social for your business:
  • Social that Adds Up: Performance and Measurement (Thurs, Nov 8, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Supercharge your Social Media Initiatives with Video (Wed, Nov 14, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Building a Digital Brand with Google+ (Thurs, Dec 6, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
Posted by the Google Analytics team

halloween

halloween:
celebration where little kids dress up and get candy, teens dress up, get drunk, and go get candy, and adults dress up, get drunk, and give out candy, funny how things all work out.


im dressing up as a farmer for halloween. im so cool.


Street Art by French artist Oakoak – A Collection 2

Street Art by French artist Oakoak – A Collection 2:





On Facebook.




By Oakoak: Homepage / Facebook. More by Oakoak on Street Art Utopia.

Turn Google Earth into a giant 3D pumpkin for Halloween

Turn Google Earth into a giant 3D pumpkin for Halloween:
Six years ago, Frank Taylor made a cool pumpkin overlay for Google Earth. It's still a fun toy to play with, so we're showing it off again. To make it work, simply download the KML here and that's it!

halloween pumpkin

For maximum benefit, turn off the atmosphere ("View -> Atmosphere") and the "Borders & Labels" (found in the "Layers" on the left side of your Google Earth window).

The pumpkin was created using a simple image overlay that he wrapped around the globe, then added a 3D model for the stem. You can read details on how that's done in this post of his from a few years ago.

If you want more, you can check out a bunch of Halloween goodness in the 3D Warehouse or maybe check out the "Pumpkin Man" in Google StreetView, found in the Disney Resort in Paris.

Happy Halloween!

The Specials, "Ghost Town (Extended)"

The Specials, "Ghost Town (Extended)": For Halloween, we whisk you away with this appropriately creepy freak show classic from the English ska revival heroes. Group svengali Jerry Dammers loads in so many horror movie atmospherics around the reggae groove that you may not even notice Terry Hall's lyrics detailing violence and despair. The Specials' brilliance lay in finding so much fun in their blighted surroundings. – Nick Dedina, Google Play



"Ghost Town" The Specials

Getting over ourselves

Getting over ourselves:
In the face of billions of dollars of destruction, of the loss of life, of families distrupted, it's easy to wonder what we were so hung up on just a few days ago. Many just went face to face with an epic natural disaster, and millions are still recovering. Writer's block or a delayed shipment or an unreturned phone call seem sort of trivial now.
We're good at creating drama, at avoiding emotional labor and most of all, at thinking small. Maybe we don't need another meeting, a longer coffee break or another hour whittling away at our stuckness.
There's never been a better opportunity to step up and make an impact, while we've got the chance. This generation, this decade, right now, there are more opportunities to connect and do art than ever before. Maybe even today.
It's pretty easy to decide to roll with the punches, to look at the enormity of natural disaster and choose to hunker down and do less. It's more important than ever, I think, to persist and make a dent in the universe instead.
We've all been offered access to so many tools, so many valuable connections, so many committed people. What an opportunity.

Gary Johnson Would Liberalize Immigration and Drug Laws; But Not Eliminate FEMA

Gary Johnson Would Liberalize Immigration and Drug Laws; But Not Eliminate FEMA:
BOULDER – With less than eight
days to go in the 2012 campaign, Libertarian Party nominee Gary
Johnson made his final swing through the libertarian-leaning
Mountain West with stops at college campuses in Idaho and Colorado.
At his final rally of the day at the University of Colorado in
Boulder, Johnson tied together the drug war and immigration policy,
two highly charged issues here, before a crowd composed mostly of
college students.
“So much of the attitude on the border has to do with border
violence and border violence is a prohibition phenomenon. Ninety
percent of the drug problem is prohibition-related not use-related,
that’s not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that
should be the focus. We have 40,000 deaths south of the border over
the last four years and these are disputes that are being played
out with guns rather with the courts. Didn’t we learn anything when
it came to the prohibition of alcohol?”
Earlier this year Johnson endorsed the Colorado ballot question
that would legalize marijuana, Amendment 64. “Colorado has the
opportunity to change worldwide drug policy by voting yes for
(Amendment) 64,” Johnson said.
“I go around the country telling people, ‘Coloradans get it,’”
he said.
Recent polls show the initiative has a chance of passing.
“How’s this going to work when it comes to the other states?
Colorado being the first domino that falls, Colorado being the
first domino that 49 other states follow and bring about rational
drug policy? When everybody goes on an airplane to go to Denver for
the weekend to chill out, that’s how it’s going to work,” he
said.
Johnson also spoke about immigration while in Denver, a topic
he's seldom addressed on the trail.
“Building a fence across the border would be an incredible waste
of time and money. We should make it as easy as possible for
somebody that wants to come into this country and work to get a
work visa. Not a green card, not citizenship, but a work visa. I
maintain that immigrants would stand in line if the line was moving
to get a work visa,” Johnson said, prompting rousing applause from
the over 500 people in attendance.
Johnson, a former two-term governor of a border state, has not
made immigration policy a major part of his campaign and has
instead focused on foreign policy, ending the drug war, and fiscal
issues.
"The reason we have 11 million illegal immigrants in this
country is you can’t get a work visa and come into this country and
work and yet everyone who wants to come in this country and work
recognizes that if they can get across the border, even illegal,
there will be a job there waiting for them and that’s the reason we
have 11 million illegal immigrants in this country right now,"
Johnson said. "We don’t want to be breaking up families."
Johnson did not touch on Hurricane Sandy during his speech, but
it did impact his day as he was late for his event in Boise that
afternoon. In a scrum with reporters after the event Johnson said
that he thinks the Federal Emergency Management Agency is an
appropriate function for the federal government.
“I do see a role. The whole notion that we do have difficulties.
I just want to do all of this in the context of not spending more
money than we’re taking in,” he said.
“I think (disaster relief) may come under the basic notion of
the government protecting us.  There are these natural
catastrophies that without the federal government, states aren’t as
well equipped,” Johnson said, pointing to government assistance New
Mexico received in response to the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000.
Johnson did note, however, that the National Park Service started
that same fire as a controlled burn.
“It was federally caused, it was federally lit,” he
said. 

SCOTUS Considers When Dogs Can Authorize Searches

SCOTUS Considers When Dogs Can Authorize Searches:
Tomorrow the Supreme Court is scheduled to

hear
two Florida cases that cast doubt on the routine use of
drug-sniffing dogs to generate probable cause for searches. The
cases give the Court an opportunity to reconsider what has until
now been an excessively deferential approach to a law enforcement
tool that is far less dependable than commonly believed.

Florida v. Harris
 
raises the question of how much
evidence is needed to establish that a dog is reliable enough for
its "alert" to justify a vehicle search. The case involves Clayton
Harris, whose pickup truck was pulled over twice in 2006
by Officer Todd Wheetley of the Liberty County Sheriff's
Office, once for an expired tag and once for a malfunctioning brake
light. On both occasions Wheetley walked a German shepherd named
Aldo around Harris' truck, and on both occasions he reported that
Aldo indicated the presence of illegal drugs by "becoming excited
and then sitting" near the door handle on the driver's side.
Wheetley searched the car both times without finding any substances
Aldo was trained to detect. But during the first stop, he found 200
pseudoephedrine pills in a plastic bag, eight boxes containing
about 8,000 matches, a bottle of muriatic acid, two bottles of
antifreeze, and coffee filters holding iodine crystals. Charged
with possessing pseudoephedrine with the intent of using it to make
methamphetamine, Harris unsuccessfully sought to have the evidence
suppressed, then entered a no-contest plea while reserving the
right to appeal the legality of the search. Last year the Florida
Supreme Court
ruled
that the search was invalid because the state had not
shown Aldo's alert was enough to establish probable cause.
One difficulty in assessing this issue is that "probable cause"
has never been precisely defined. In the context of a drug search,
the Supreme Court has
said
it amounts to a "fair probability" or a "substantial
chance" that contraband will be discovered. That does not mean a
reliable dog must be right 100 percent of the time. But how high an
error rate is acceptable? In a 2005 dissent,
Justice David Souter cited examples from court cases of dogs with
error rates of up to 38 percent, adding that "dogs in artificial
testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60%
of the time." Last year a Chicago Tribune study
found that vehicle searches justified by a dog's alert failed to
find drugs or drug paraphernalia 56 percent of the time. While that
error rate might seem surprisingly high, the Court might
nevertheless deem a 44 percent chance of finding drugs "fair" or
"substantial."
In Aldo's case, there is no field performance record to check,
because police did not keep track of his errors. (After all, why
would anyone be interested in those?) The state argues that Aldo's
two unverified alerts to Harris' truck can be explained by traces
of meth that Harris left when opening the door. In other words, the
alerts were not, strictly speaking, false positives, because the
dog really did smell meth, just not enough to be visible. Along
with the possibility that drugs were hidden so cleverly that the
cops could not find them, this "residual odor" explanation is a
common excuse for apparent errors by drug-sniffing dogs. But it
tends to undermine the argument that an alert provides probable
cause. While it makes sense that a meth cook (and meth user) would
have traces of the drug on his hands, such odors might also be left
behind by passengers, passers-by, or even previous owners of the
vehicle. If a car once carried a pot smoker or its trunk once
contained several pounds of cannabis, for how long could
marijuana's ghost be detected by a dog? Depending on how persistent
and common residual odors are, they could play havoc with the
argument that a dog sniff reveals nothing but the presence or
absence of contraband.
In addition to residual odors, a fruitless search based on a
dog's supposed alert might be due to other distracting smells, poor
training, poor handling, a police officer's subconscious cues,
misinterpretation of the dog's behavior, or even outright lying
about what the dog did. Given all the potential sources of error,
the Florida Supreme Court said, "the fact that a drug-detection dog
has been trained and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone,
is not sufficient to demonstrate the reliability of the
dog," especially since there are no uniform standards for
certification. In addition, "the State must present evidence of the
dog's training and certification records, an explanation of the
meaning of the particular training and certification, field
performance records (including any unverified alerts), and evidence
concerning the experience and training of the officer handling the
dog, as well as any other objective evidence known to the officer
about the dog's reliability." Then a judge can decide, based on
"the totality of the circumstances," whether the dog's alert
amounts to probable cause.
The state of Florida, of course, disagrees, arguing that
certification and a handler's confidence in a dog are enough to
establish its reliability. The state's
Supreme Court brief
claims that "no one is in a better position
to evaluate the reliability of a well-trained dog's alert than the
trained K-9 officer who has spent countless hours training and
working with that dog." That's one way of looking at it. But a
skeptic might point out that, aside from whatever emotional
attachment the officer may have to this dog with which he works so
closely, he has a strong incentive to believe (or at least claim)
the dog is reliable, since that belief allows him to search people
he suspects are carrying drugs and makes the evidence collected
during such searches admissible—assuming courts agree with the
officer's assessment, which they generally do. It is long past time
for judges to examine such assertions more critically.
The other drug dog case,
Florida v. Jardines
, poses the question of whether a
warrant is required for a canine inspection of a home's exterior
(which can then be used to obtain a search warrant for the home).
In cases involving
traffic stops
and
luggage at airports
, the Supreme Court has said the sniff of "a
well-trained dog" does not count as a search within the meaning of
the Fourth Amendment, based on the theory that it does not reveal
anything people have a right to conceal. Does a different analysis
apply to a home, given the traditionally stronger privacy
protections in that setting? The question of a dog's reliability
should matter here too, since 1) the idea that a sniff is not a
search rests on an unrealistically sanguine view of the average
police dog's abilities, and 2) a mistaken alert to a house results
in a much more serious invasion of privacy than a car or suitcase
search. If courts are putting their faith in "certified" dogs that
are wrong most of the time, the upshot could be a lot of legally
unjustified home invasions.
Previous coverage of these cases
here
and
here
. Radley Balko got inside "The Mind of a Police Dog" in a
2011 column.




Historic San Clemente pool complex readies for facelift

Historic San Clemente pool complex readies for facelift: San Clemente officials tried Monday to dispel a rumor that the city isn't planning to reopen the seaside Ole Hanson Beach Club, a historic 84-year-old municipal pool complex that closed for renovation last winter when a new $7.5 million aquatics...

Halloween, Orange County style

Halloween, Orange County style: Trick or treating is an adventure wherever you live. But in Orange County, you never know who's behind the door. The real Freddie Krueger might answer in Laguna Beach or an equally scary – at least to a Giants fan – former Dodgers manager Tommy...

Return on investment analysis for all your digital channels

Return on investment analysis for all your digital channels:
Google Analytics has been a great place to analyze the performance of your Google advertising programs, but a piece of the puzzle has been missing: analyzing return on investment across all your digital channels. That’s why we’re happy to announce our new Cost Data Import tool, now available in public beta. This tool allows Google Analytics users to import their cost data from any digital source -- such as paid search providers, display providers, affiliates, email, social and even organic traffic.



Your imported cost data can be viewed in two places: in a new report called Cost Analysis in Traffic Sources, and in the newly publicly available Attribution Modeling Tool. These reports show you how all your digital marketing channels are performing compared to each other, so you can make better decisions about your marketing programs.



To take advantage of cost analysis, you can upload data in two ways: via a self-service API, or using solutions created by independent application providers. These solution providers include:





Our early customers are already loving it! Here are some success stories:

“Most of our paid search and social advertising decisions were made strictly based on a conversion pixel and CPA. We really didn't have the resources or the energy to continue to pull data and work it backward for detailed analysis. Now that we can import raw data into Google Analytics using NEXT Analytics v5, we can quickly and easily look for insights - just as we do with Adwords."

-- Darcy Foster, President, Natural Wellbeing (with Cardinal Path
“Before, we used to manually match paid search cost to revenue data in Excel. With AutomateAnalytics.com GA Data Uploader, we have been able to automate this process, and can now much more accurately measure paid search campaign ROI within Google Analytics."

-- David Jaeger, Director of SEM, National Positions 
“Using the ‘In2GA’ cost data import tool from ShufllePoint, our partners at E-Nor can improve the performance of our paid search channel more efficiently.This translates into quicker insights comparing campaign metrics, ad effectiveness, and keyword performance at one glance instead of logging into multiple systems. Any application or feature that streamlines data collection for analysis, ultimately impacting the bottom line positively, is welcomed. Thanks for the continued innovations and look forward to more.”

-- Michael Rosito, Founder & President OEMPCWorld.com
Cost Data Import will be rolling out over the next month. If your account has been enabled, you should be able to see the Cost Analysis report show up in the Traffic Sources menu on the left-hand side of the Google Analytics interface (in the Standard Reporting tab). We hope this tool will provide a clearer view of your media performance across all your channels and help you make more informed budgeting decisions.





Posted by Laura Holmes, Product Manager

"THE EARLS OF DUKE"

"THE EARLS OF DUKE":
In 1958, with Don Robey’s record company stock on the rise, he formulated a touring review from his biggest R&B stars. The review was known as "Blues Consolidated" and the headliners were invariably Bobby "Blue" Bland and Herman "Little Junior" Parker. Bobby "Blue" Bland had started as a valet and PA to Parker and other Memphis Bluesmen in the late 1940s, but rapidly became a star performer, scoring hit after hit well into the 1980s, many of his records being much covered blues classics. Little Junior Parker is another blues and oddly, Rockabilly legend, whose "Mystery Train" did much to make Elvis what he became... working with such figures as Sam Phillips and Ike Turner, Little Junior Parker had a string of increasingly larger hits right through until 1969, when his new label Capitol started cutting him on ill-advised Beatles covers. But the tough 'Drownin' On Dry Land' deservedly gave him his last R&B chart success in early 1971 which sadly was the same year as his death. It would be thirty years later that he would be honoured by finally being inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame. Both Hall Of Famer's, both amazing performers, both at the bedrock of the music we know and love today... how can you resist! (Cherry Red)
trax:
1. No Blow, No Show - Bobby "Blue" Bland 2. I.O.U. Blues - Bobby "Blue" Bland 3. Lovin' Blues - Bobby "Blue" Bland 4. Wise Man Blues - Bobbly "Blue" Bland 5. Army Blues - Bobby "Blue" Bland 6. Please Baby Blues - Little Junior Parker 7. Dirty Friend Blues - Little Junior Parker 8. Can't Understand - Little Junior Parker 9. Sittin', Drinkin' And Thinkin' - Little Junior Parker 10. Can You Tell Me Baby? - Little Junior Parker 11. Backtracking - Little Junior Parker 12. I Wanna Ramble - Little Junior Parker 13. It's My Life, Baby - Bobby "Blue" Bland 14. Honey Bee - Bobby "Blue" Bland 15. Time Out - Bobby "Blue" Bland 16. Driving Me Mad - Little Junior Parker 17. There Better Be No Feet In Them Shoes - Little Junior Parker 18. I'm Tender - Little Junior Parker 19. Woke Up Screaming - Bobby "Blue" Bland 20. A Million Miles From Nowhere - Bobby "Blue" Bland 21. You've Got Bad Intentions - Bobby "Blue" Bland 22. I Can't Put You Down, Baby - Bobby "Blue" Bland 23. Mother-In-Law Blues - Little Junior Parker 24. I Don't Believe - Bobby "Blue" Bland 25. I Learned My Lesson - Bobby "Blue" Bland 26. Next Time You See Me - Little Junior Parker 27. Pretty Baby - Little Junior Parker 28. That's Alright - Bobby "Blue" Bland / Little Junior Parker
...served by Gyro1966...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Use The Force Luke."



via Instagram http://instagr.am/p/RbQ41kTcYq/

Survival Cross Training – It’s Not Just For The Gym: 17 Skills Everyone In Your Family Should Learn

Survival Cross Training – It’s Not Just For The Gym: 17 Skills Everyone In Your Family Should Learn:
This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready NutritionAfter joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an  Armed Forces Emergency Services Center  specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on PreparednessHomesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com.

Possessing crucial skill sets are a must have when forming a survival group. Individuals bringing a variety of skills binds the group further to create a solid, well-functioning team. That said, like anything regarding preparedness, you do not want to become complacent and believe that just one person should perform a certain set of tasks. Remember, what one man can do, another can do. Your group is only as strong as its weakest link, and training members to perform multiple tasks will make for a more fluid unit, especially during highly stressful situations.
We have seen this type of group training with many emergency organizations who have cross-trained their employees in case one employee has to compensate for the other during a disaster. This helps cut down on dependency on one or two of the stronger members, because each member can pick up where the other has left off in the event the primary responder is incapacitated or has to perform other tasks. This type of training is both efficient and can easily be incorporated into your preparedness plan.
Don’t Fall into Gender Stereotypes
It’s so easy to fall into gender stereotypical jobs. After all, we do what makes us feel most comfortable. However, one of the most dangerous things we can do when learning skills for SHTF-time is to allow ourselves to be tied into stereotypes, for both gender and age. “Why is that so bad?”  you may be asking. “I take care of the cooking and the laundry and my husband chops the wood and defends the homestead.  And we don’t want the kids to have to worry about these things now.”
That could be a fatal mistake.
What happens if Mom is bedridden for several months with a risky pregnancy?  What if Dad breaks his leg and the wood is not chopped, with winter fast approaching? What if Mom and Dad both were stricken with an illness, or even worse, died, leaving the kids on their own?
The fact is, family or group members all need to possess the minimum skills needed to run and protect the homestead. Especially in a post-disaster world, life will be full of risks and danger. Your survival could one day depend on your 12 year-old’s ability to build a fire in the wood stove and keep it going. Mom might have to be able to shoot an intruder bent on robbing the homestead when dad is away hunting.
We must remember to stretch ourselves in order to become better at prepping and living a preparedness lifestyle. It is paramount that we remove those gender and age defined roles and stereotypes so that more than one person has the ability to perform the self-reliant skills that are vital for a family’s survival.
Some essential skills all members of your team must know:
Familiarity with tools can also help you avoid injury. Becoming comfortable and proficient with things like a crank wringer, an axe or hatchet, a filet knife, or a weapon not only allows you to use them more easily and efficiently, it keeps you safer while you’re using them.
Don’t underestimate your kids either. Give them age-appropriate responsibilities and allow them to help you when you perform the necessary tasks for survival. The more familiar a child is with a certain task, the more confident they will be if ever a day comes when it is necessary for them to perform that task without your supervision. One of the things I’ve recently been working on with my daughter is keeping the fire going in the wood stove. Initially she was very leery of adding a log to the fire, but after a few weeks of it, she is becoming a pro. Teaching children to build a fire is one of the most basic survival skills that everyone must know.
Likewise, kids need to learn to be comfortable and respectful of firearms and other weapons, and this can only come through practice. Take for example the recent case of a 12 year old girl who shot an intruder through her bathroom door when she was home alone and forced to defend herself. One day you may have to depend on your child to save your life by providing backup in the event of an emergency where law enforcement doesn’t exist. Or, perhaps it will be your young adult who will be out hunting for wild game to put food on the table while you engage in other tasks.
Cross-training – it’s not just for the gym! Ensure that your family doesn’t rely too much on any one person by having everyone pitch in to learn the different tasks necessary for survival.

This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?
Ready Nutrition and SHTFplan.com take your privacy very seriously and will not distribute or share your email address with other parties.
[contact-form]