Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 29 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include: First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from (a $275 value), D.) A 500 round case of …

A Blacksmithing Primer, by Matt M.

The two greatest tools that mankind has, the tools that pulled our species out of the wild and still separate us from base animals, are fire and the blade. A blacksmith crafts and uses both of these tools.  Whether you live in a frontier situation where you have to make do with what you’ve got and make it last or you’re planning ahead for a potential TEOTWAWKI situation, knowing how to shape iron and steel to suit your needs without the use of electricity is a good idea.  This article is intended as the most basic primer to give you, …

Letter Re: Preserving Food at Home Self-Study Course

Dear Mr. Rawles, I thought that the free food preservation course from the National Center for Home Food Preservation would be useful to your readers. Here are some details, from their web site: Preserving food at home, a self-study course. Announcing a free, self-paced, online course for those wanting to learn more about home canning and preservation. * Introduction to Food Preservation * General Canning * Canning Acid Foods * Canning Low-Acid Foods This course is offered in the University of Georgia eLC system. The univefrsity requires registration for you to receive a login. – David L. Economics and Inve

Economics and Investing:

G.G,. sent this: Homeowners Associations: The New Foreclosure Ireland’s credit rating downgraded by Moody’s. Down to Aa2. Ouch! (Thanks to John in Ohio for the link.) Items from The Economatrix: Stocks Rebound as Investors Await Earnings IBM Lifts 2010 Forecast But Economic Worries Loom Homebuilders Losing Confidence in the Recovery Average Gasoline Prices Down From a Month Ago UK: Hedge Funds Accused as Food Prices Soar Stress Testing Euro Banks Won’t Stave Off a Deflationary Vortex Markets Braced for Turmoil After IMF and EU Pull 17 Pound Billion Hungary Financing Deal

Odds ‘n Sods:

Trent H. was the first of several readers to mention this: Second Act: Jay Shafer; Ten years ago, Jay Shafer downsized to an 89-square-foot house and reinvented both his lifestyle and career in the process. Not much room for storage food, but this illustrates that minimalism has its advantages.    o o o Paul B. sent us a link to some more Gibbonesque musings: Has civilization gone full circle?    o o o SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large Michael Z. Williamson sent this piece about some implications of deferred maintenance, parts obsolescence, tight budgets, and lean “Just In Time” spare parts …