The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at a new test for poisonous mushrooms.

New Test for Poisonous Mushrooms and False Morels

Reader C.B. sent this: New test identifies poisonous mushrooms. Here is how the article leads off:

“A simple, portable test that can detect the deadliest of the mushroom poisons in minutes has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.

Eating toxic mushrooms causes more than 100 deaths a year, globally, and leaves thousands of people in need of urgent medical assistance. Amanitin is the class of mushroom toxins that cause the most serious issues.

The new test can identify the presence of as little as 10 parts per billion (equivalent to 10 cents out of $10 million) of amanitin in about 10 minutes from a rice grain size sample of a mushroom or in the urine of someone who has eaten a poisonous amanitin-containing mushroom. The test also works with dog urine, as dogs are known to indiscriminately eat mushrooms.”

Mac Software Threats Increasing

Also from C.B.: Mac software threats climbed 400% in 2019, more than Microsoft Windows, report says

Archery Hunter Kills 700 Pound Black Bear in New Jersey

Reader DSV sent us this: 700-pound black bear shot in New Jersey sets world record. Here is a snippet:

“A bowhunting organization says a 700-pound bear shot in New Jersey last fall has set a world record as the largest black bear killed with a bow and arrow in North America.

The Pope and Young Club, a bowhunting and conservation organization, said the bear killed Oct. 14 in Morris County toppled a record set in 1993 by a hunter in California. The new record was announced after a special panel of judges was assembled Feb. 8 in Harrisburg during the Great American Outdoors Show, the group said.”

Bloomberg Financing Destruction of Second Amendment

Bloomberg’ ‘Leveraged Buyout’ Of 2A Continues; Everytown Spends $8M In Texas

New Yorkers and New Jerseyites are Voting With Their Feet

Another link from DSV: Study: New York, New Jersey Face Largest Population Decrease In The U.S.. The article begins:

“A new study finds that New York and New Jersey are losing more residents than any other states.

The career website Zippia looked at the population data from the Census’ American Community Survey to determine the states with the largest population decrease from 2017 to 2018, which is the most recent data available.

New York topped the list, losing 307,190 residents, and New Jersey came in second with 97,124 residents moving out.

Connecticut also made it into the top 10, losing 15,519 residents.

So where are these residents going? Some headed to neighboring states — New Yorkers moved to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and New Jersey residents left for Pennsylvania and New York — while others left in search of warmer climates, like Florida and California.

Meanwhile, Arizona, Idaho and Utah were the fastest growing states, according to the study.”

The Return of Orange Jeep Dad

Long-time readers of SurvivalBlog will remember the Orange Jeep Dad blog.  After a few years of on-again-off again posting, he has resumed blogging regularly, and he has some big news: In June, he is relocating his family to St. Maries, Idaho!  (One of the towns that is at the top of my list for strategic relocation.) Please bookmark his blog. It is well worth reading.

A Tesla Fooled Into Speeding

Electrical Tape on Sign Fooled a Tesla Into Speeding in Test. A pericope:

“Researchers were able to trick a Tesla Inc. vehicle into speeding by putting a strip of electrical tape over a speed limit sign, spotlighting the kinds of potential vulnerabilities facing automated driving systems.

Technicians at McAfee Inc. placed the piece of tape horizontally across the middle of the “3” on a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit sign. The change caused the vehicle to read the limit as 85 miles per hour, and its cruise control system automatically accelerated, according to research released by McAfee on Wednesday.”

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Febuary 22, 2020

    Chris Martenson interview with Greg Hunter:

    (Note that he mentions that a Chinese hospital(s) have begun using ionic silver, an atomic form, from nebulizers, appearently to fog the air, and to deal with the airborne threat of Covid-19. If it can linger, travel in a breeze, or can become concentrated in a building for any period of time after the carrier, or carriers has left, avoiding Covid-19 becomes problematic. I would not feel 100% protected with standard PPE. It is easier to make ionic silver than nano silver. Just skip a step. I would use both, and I might use it on my face and in my mask.)

    Discussion from a Dutch medical health specialist about some of the benefits of nano silver, and how it works to defeat various kinds of infections. Understanding the mechanisium is important, and why the use of nano silver is far more effective than coloidal silver. Nano silver is not ‘voodoo’ medicine.
    ( I might not be able to produce a high school diploma, yet having lived and gone to shool in Europe, their alternative medicine is more mature. (Btw, they taught Shakespeare in their English courses. I took French, in Danish. We should be *more* than *very* ashamed of our educational system. Sometimes I still think I should have stayed. Although I reminisce, just like this country, Europe is no longer what it was.)

    Here is less sophisticated method for generating a decent, and useful quality nano silver. It can also be purchased on Amazon in many forms including lonzenges (cough drops) 10ppm is adequate. I suspect silver is going to be popular in the Redout.:

    Skip the process involved with heating baking soda in an oven at 450F for an hour, buy purchasing 55oz of washing soda for $4 on Amazon. All the necessary items, including the resistors can be purchased through Amazon.

    1. Hey Tunnel Rabbit, do yo have any links on making the nano silver you are referring to which are not YouTube links? Some of us only have can-and-string internet connections which don’t allow us to view video.

      1. St Funogas,

        I’m sorry I do not. I’m running off a hot spot with a directional antenna that can send and recieve a wifi signal for up 5 miles away. Doubt you can use something like this, but thought I should mention it.

        If I run into such instructions that can fit into a can and run down a string, I’ll post it Attention St. Funogas. I might generate a part list, yet one needs instuction as well. I found a doctor friend with a small bit of capital, and inexchange I’ll make them gallons of the good stuff even after the it is no longer available retail. I believe they are going to need it. So do they. It can’t hurt.


        Here is a good place to learn, and goes beyond what might be learned in many videos. It can be downloaded for future use. Nano silver can be absorbed into the blood by the tissues in the mouth, nasal passages, in the lungs, or via the stomach. Ionic silver is best when used in a nebulizer and inhaled deep into the lungs, and other airways. It may become denatured in the stomach or in the blood. That is what I read, and the chemistry makes sense to me. Nano silver is known to be effective in the blood and stomach. Nano and ionic silver are both much more potent than coloidal silver, as that contains fewer tiny silver particles that do the work.

        We might be able to attack the virus several ways, and assist the immune system, and reduce the oxygen blocking effect of ARDS (the result of an inflammatory response) in the lungs, and the formation scare tissue. In the blood, the nano silver may reduce the long term effects of fibrosis, or formation of inelastic scare tissue in the heart that may reduce the heart’s output. It may reduce the viruses presents throughout the body, and hopefully prevent from it from reemerging once again, or in full force that might produce a stronger than the first occurrence, infection, and therefore be more likely to cause death. It appears this bug may persist in the body for an indefinite time. Reinfection with a new serotype (a mutation ) is believed by some to cause a violent, or the sudden onset of a massive cytokine storm. a severe body wide inflammatory response, perhaps similar to a life threatening allergic reaction. No one really knows, yet the longer it is observed, the more suprising and life threatening attribute it appears to have.

        I ain’t no nuthing, but I think for myself. That process has save my life many times, so I encourage others to take responsibility for themselves. I believe it is very unlikely that any form of silver as a suspended particle, will do any one harm, unless they clearly abuse it as they might anything. I believe that in the next few weeks, this stealthy virus will have it’s first outbreaks, perhaps starting with the Seattle WA area, and Southern California. Who know for sure, but it will fast appear all over the U.S. once the first outbreak occurs. This could cause our house of cards to fall.

    2. Re: Bosnia

      Inspired by Wheatly Fisher’s book suggestion about what happen in Bosnia (thank you):

      Biblesnbarbells You Tube channel has a series discussing some highlights from the book. “A video review of Selco Begovic’s new book- The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival.”

      Mike Adam’s new website. cut and paste into search engine.

  2. Of course New Yorkers are leaving… There are areas in this state that are beautiful. But the nonsensical laws and blow back from the city (NYC) and cost of living far out weigh the beauty that used to be New York State.

    As far as the city of New York and all five of its burroughs go…. It’s trash. Literally trash. And unfit for human life.

    Been told jersey has some rural spots that are okay but by in large (from people who lived there) it’s not great.

    1. I have the perfect test for wild mushrooms. I don’t eat them. Don’t care who the expert is I won’t eat them. I do the same with salads at restaurants, I don’t eat them. My store has started putting the country of origin on fresh foods and I don’t buy or eat any veggies and fruits from Mexico.

  3. The new test for poisonous mushrooms and false morels is great! Even understanding the physical characteristics of poisonous mushrooms, I admit a terrible fear of making any error in this regard (and so do not forage). I’m looking forward to learning more about this resource, and thank the contributor and editors for sharing it!

    1. That’s a good point on the mistakes that can be made foraging…

      It’s my opinion that if it can be raised, grown, produced it’s better to do that then try and hunt gather.

      If you shoot pig you have food for a while. If you catch \ trap that pig you can fatten it or breed it… Same with rabbits deer.. etc.

      Invest a small amount of time and effort and you make sure the mushrooms you grow aren’t the poisonous kind.

      Foraging has always seemed like a pretty “low reward high risk” endeavor to my eyes.

      1. From your post: “Foraging has always seemed like a pretty “low reward high risk” endeavor to my eyes.”

        Yes! Well stated. Culinary mushrooms are really delicious, but… The risk of getting a hold of something deadly is a serious deterrent. As a prepper, I have a deep level of risk aversion or risk resistance.

  4. While the focus has been on corona, understandably, I would ask about another scenario never covered in my readings.
    If CME/EMP were to happen (think N Korea, Iran) it has been widely reported that transformers, electronics et al would be fried. Never do I read about home wiring, elect blankets, stereos starting a house fire. Most US homes are “stick-built” so I wonder about how many preps would be lost as many homes could be consumed. Any evaluation in this possibility?

    1. Stick framed houses are (when properly done) actually quite fire resistant from the inside.

      The duration of most surges from emp simply don’t last long enough to cause long enough heat to cause the building materials to ignite. And most homes walls are built air tight-ish enough that there is not enough oxygen available to allow the very small embers to build into flames.

      Source on emp comes from my uncle who is in fact a PhD nuclear engineer.

      Source for combustion in construction materials comes from my own many years of carpentry and specialist classes in fire rating techniques.

      A simple example is to stick a tooth pick in your stoves flame and count how long it takes to catch fire. And compare this with the length of duration for emp blast.

      Electricity moves fast (closer to the speed of light) so it flares up. Burns out the electron transfer ability of the material. Breaks the circuit and stops the flow of electrons (electricity) which means no more source of heat.

      If that clears it up

  5. New Test for Poisonous Mushrooms and False Morels:

    I remember taking a survival course from Ross Allen back in the 1970s, where he told us not to eat mushrooms, that it was too dangerous to make a deadly mistake.

    Ross Allen

    A few years ago, when growing shiitake mushrooms, the instructors and the vendor that sold the spore, were very insistent that you use freshly harvested wood, not anything that had been laying on the ground for more than a day or two. So, that the wood had not been naturally inoculated by a poisonous species. I guess that is the one plus thing about hurricanes, plenty of fresh wood for growing mushrooms…

  6. I’ve heard that most if not all of the transformers are manufactured in Germany and
    God help us in China.

    Does anyone out there have accurate info on this?

    1. If your talking about large power grid or power pole transformers then (again according to my nuclear power plant employed uncle) you needed to worry about them exploding from EMP.

      Most all transformers have a “fuse” that simply burns out and breaks the circuit.

      Most transformers blow from overheating it’s a relatively slow process (especially as compared to EMP)

  7. Every commercial transformer is essentially inside a faraday cage. Transformers because they are essentially a large inductor resists large transient current flows. Most transformers on the grid either have a specific circuit breaker/fuse OR they have a short lead of wire that connects them that will open up with a massive transient current surge. It is likely that if we had a CMP that all the transformers would still be usable merely needing to be reconnected.
    Secondly almost all the transformers can be rebuilt. When I worked for a utility our electric shop would rebuild a malfunctioning transformer. They are surprisingly simple inside and the structure of the internals lends itself to rebuilding.

    There are a few elaborate multi-stage transformers used in newer electrical generation facilities that are built overseas and would require special facilities to rebuild. These are large, as big as a garbage truck, heavy, multi-ton transformers that could not be easily replaced.

  8. That’ll be great if they can get a commercially available mushroom testing kit some day.

    Here’s a thought for people who have their own property and lots of mushrooms.

    On any homestead, there are two classes of mushrooms: those that come up in random places like morels, and those that come up in the same place all the time. For the ones that come up in the same place all the time, you can do more detailed tests to figure out if they are edible or not. I use the book in the link below and it’s a little more technical, but still usable for everyday folks. One of the features it utilizes is called a spore print. You take the cap off the mushroom and put it on a piece of white paper overnight and in the morning when you remove it, there will be a very colorful pattern of spores. The pattern and the color will help you get a more precise identification of the mushroom. There are a lot more things like that in the book. So if you have a bunch of mushrooms that keep coming up year after year at the northwest corner of your chicken coop, or that log just north of the pond you can more easily identify them and then harvest them year after year.

    Last fall I finally got around to identifying the mushrooms on that 25′ log laying down in the woods. Every year it gets hundreds of mushrooms on it. The actual fungi which is breaking down the log has been living inside it there for who knows how many years. The mushrooms are basically just “flowers” it sends up once a year. When I finally identified it, they turned out to be oyster mushrooms! I was a week too late, they were just far enough over the hill to be no longer choice. There was at least 25 pounds there and probably more on neighboring logs if I looked around. This year I’ll be out there collecting early and what I can’t eat fresh will go in to the solar food dryer and freezer.

    One last thing I do before I eat any new mushrooms is what I call the “rat test.” When rats find a new food source they only take a small bite to see if it’s safe. If they have no ill effects, they come back later for more. I do the same thing when I’m trying a new mushroom source. Even though I’m 99% certain I’ve keyed it out correctly using the books, it never hurts to be as smart as the lowly rat, just to be sure.

    Book link (there are some cheap used copies available on Amazon right now):

  9. I think if one were concerned about surge protection in the event of a CME, there should be enough time to simply remove the electric meter from the side of your house prior to impact. Probably not the case with an EMP attack.
    I wonder if utility companies would proactively shut the grids down prior to a CME impact?

    1. The difference between the CME and the EMP is time.

      The CME gives notice. Assuming our government tells us when the CME leaves the sun, you have time, hours, to disconnect your house from the grid. You have time to unplug everything in your house. You have time to isolate your solar panels from the electronics package and the electronics package from the house and isolate the battery bank from everything. The associated wiring, whether from the grid, inside your house, or any radio or television antenna is going to have an induced current from the high intensity magnetic field these wires are passing through. Make sure the wires, especially from the solar panels are disconnected at both ends. The induced power then has no place to go.

      All these precautions apply to the EMP as well. However, with the EMP you loose the all important element of TIME. If there is a warning at all, you will have no more than 30 minutes to get things ready. Likely you’ll have a whole lot less time than that, probably just seconds.

      Is there a way to prepare for the EMP in advance. Yes! Starting with fast-acting surge protection on everything in your house, everything. Look into fast-acting fusible links for both ends of the cables between your solar panels and your charge controller, also between your radio and TV antennas and the equipment they are hooked up to. You could look into whole house surge protection, but that is going to be real expensive, thousands of dollars.

      With the EMP you will know what’s happening, when it happens. Your own actions should be to put on thick rubber gloves and your safety glasses (shooting glasses should do) and maybe a whole face shield, keep them handy, and kill the main breaker on your house. With the other actions above, this will help to protect your home and appliances.

      Use JWR’s Amazon link and look up electricians gloves, Safety glasses, and full face shields, or look up electricians safety equipment. Or you can go to your local electrical supply house, something like Madison Electric or even Grainger.

  10. Here’s a resource for anyone interested in growing mushrooms that might be worth exploring… We haven’t attempted this, but wonder about growing culinary mushrooms in a controlled environment (not wild grown). It’s an interesting and intriguing idea. This fellow has quite a few informative videos. Of course, we always encourage cross referencing information — just to be sure for the sake of safety — but this does seem to be a good starting place!

    Here you go:

  11. The Mushroom Expert
    Bill is a mushroom expert, and Bill is a friend of mine,
    He has studied the amanita and all its ancestral line;
    He goes to the fields each autumn to harvest a dinner treat,
    For he knows which are deadly fungi, and which are the ones to eat.

    Bill can talk by the hour on mushrooms and he laughs at my timid fears,
    He is still in the land of the living and has eaten the things for years ;
    He is wise in the lore of the meadow, the swamp and the dark ravine,
    And I’d say, of the mushroom experts, he’s the best that I’ve ever seen.

    If ever I gathered mushrooms I’d carry them back to Bill
    And ask him to look them over and pick out the ones that kill;
    I’d trust to his certain knowledge and bank on his judgment, too,
    For he is a shark on that stuff and can spiel it right off to you.

    Bill knows ’em and loves ’em and eats ’em, and all through the days of fall
    He’s out with his little basket in search of the snowy ball;
    And never I doubt his knowledge, I grant it surpasses mine —
    But during the mushroom season I don’t go to Bill’s to dine.

    Edgar A. Guest
    The Passing Throng, 1923

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