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 how personalities are shaped by natural surroundings.

Americans’ Personalities Shaped By Their Natural Surroundings

SurvivalBlog reader B.D. spotted this: How Americans’ Personalities Are Shaped By Their Natural Surroundings. Here is a quote:

“Reported in the journal Nature Human Behaviour this week, psychologists led by the University of Cambridge in the UK found that people who reside in mountainous US regions, such as the Rocky Mountains in the west and the Appalachian Mountains in the east, tend to have personality traits more closely associated with the “frontier settlement theory,” which says the first people from Europe who settled in the US during the colonial era were tough, individualistic, and non-conformists.

According to the researchers, this “Wild West mentality” can still be found in populations that live in mountain regions of the US.

“The harsh and remote environment of mountainous frontier regions historically attracted nonconformist settlers strongly motivated by a sense of freedom. Such rugged terrain likely favored those who closely guarded their resources and distrusted strangers, as well as those who engaged in risky explorations to secure food and territory,” lead author Friedrich Götz, from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, said in a statement.

“These traits may have distilled over time into an individualism characterized by toughness and self-reliance that lies at the heart of the American frontier ethos,” added Götz.”

Americans Plan to Stockpile Food this Fall

Over at  MSN: ‘Like we’re going into quarantine’: Americans plan to stockpile food this fall over fears of COVID-19 surge, election unrest

Terrified Utah Hiker Films Cougar Stalking Him

Linked over at the news aggregation site: Terrified Utah hiker films cougar stalking himJWR’s Comment: Never leave your home without a weapon.

FDA Finally Issues Amalgam Warning

Reader D.S.V. sent this: FDA Finally Issues Amalgam Warning

Charges Dropped on 90% of Portland Rioters

This one came to us from H.L.:  90% of Portland Rioters Are Rewarded for Months of Destruction; Attempted Cop Killer Released. A snippet:

“But of the 213 people arrested for these crimes, down from the 295 the month before, charges against 90% of them were dropped, some as early as the next day. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt gave them a free pass because he’s decided to “preemptively decline to prosecute” the vast majority of cases because it’s not acceptable to hold adults accountable for their criminal behavior, or something. Let me remind you that interfering with a police officer, disorderly conduct and rioting were the top three charges that Schmidt has declined to prosecute. “

How a 12-Year-Old Achieved Nuclear Fusion

Reader A.K. suggested this: How a 12-year-old achieved nuclear fusion – Guinness World Records

A Really Big AR

I noticed that DRD Tactical (one of our loyal writing contest sponsors) now makes AR-based rifles chambered all the way up to .338 Lapua Magnum. But surely it must be their 6.5 Creedmoor riles that are selling the best. The caliber has had deservedly-well growing popularity. If you do any business with DRD Tactical, then please mention that you heard about them in SurvivalBlog.

Xfinity Television Remotes Can Be Hacked

C.B.. sent us this: Security company finds vulnerability in Xfinity television remote controls.

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


  1. I was trying to imagine someone hacking in and listening to my living room conversations. They’d die of boredom and maybe they could help us by saying warm or cold based on the sound of the conversation so we could find the remote. LOL

    1. @Matt in OK: LOL – My wife and I are moving to the Edmond/Guthrie area in December. It sounds like, should we happen to meet, we’d have a lot in common with you.

      1. Absolutely. Let me know when y’all get settled in and touch base with me and we will do a meet n greet and maybe do a meal or something.
        I was just over to Lake Arcadia area the other day.

    2. Its not humans listening in… the audio is digitized and sent to a server where computer software can ‘scan’ thousands of conversations at a time, tagging pertinent key words. Much of it never even looked at, but rather ‘archived’ for later use. Whatdayathink that giant data center in Idaho is for? Yes, they are building a library for use against us. Just look at the General Flynn case, to see what they fo and how they do it.

      1. Idaho!?! That can’t be right. It’s the Shangrala of freedom and in the great redoubt of freedom. Sarc
        It listens when you talk into it and tell it what channel so to modify that isn’t to far a stretch.

      1. I think it was the late actor Karl Maulden who said “Never leave home without it. A big knife or a small gun, I mean.”.

    1. The cougar was never a threat to the man. If she wanted to attack, he’d have been mauled. She was making an “aggression display” to scare him from her babies. I have never seen that particular body language before. Please note, when he threw a rock at her, she took off.

      In this case, a firearm could easily have left two orphaned pups. The guy was too freaked out to use the gun right, to scare the cougar.

      Carry on

  2. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the validity of study linked above. I say this for several reasons, but to be quick:

    1.This researcher never personally interacted with the people in the study.

    2.This is another example of a “scientist” in one region, (Europe) stereotyping people (that they never interviewed) in an entirely different region.

    3. The actual data is not publicly available and only becomes available by request. In short, this means “trust us.” For anyone who deals with scientists and research, this is a huge red flag because if the data was valid, publish it.

    4. It says directly in the PRESS RELEASE for this research “However, they hasten to add complex psychological phenomena are influenced by many hundreds of factors, not simply a strong sense of local identity and a few campfire tales.”

    5. The field of psychology is currently, and for the past 5 years at least, been experience a validity crisis. Meaning, researchers in that field have come to acknowledge that most of their existing research and theories over the past 50 years or more is actually flawed.

    6. In our current political climate, how could research like this be used to frame people in mountainous regions in a negative light?

    I could go on, but, my comment is not an article. I personally do not put much merit in results as presented in the press release.

    1. Re: Americans’ Personalities Shaped By Their Natural Surroundings

      They paint with a broad brush, yet generally speaking, I find their conclusions to apply to my part of the Redoubt. The further one travels from the main highway, and from town into increasingly remote enclaves bordering wildness areas, the more accurate is their characterization. My associates fit the most extreme of these desirable characteristics. Their study should serve as a warning to those who plan to encroach. We would be among the most kind and generous, yet conversely, also the meanest and indomitable. If you’ve some how missed out, Stoffle, the Honey Badger would be an excellent example. Wolverines are tough, but not nearly as clever:

      Regardless of the critter, you should hope to have neighbors that are as described. Get start getting them organized. Now is a the best time.

      1. Tunnel Rabbit,

        I am not saying that the traits listed “tough, individualistic, and non-conformists” are bad traits. Not at all.

        The frontier theory, or the colonial mindset that this research is attempting to attach to the traits above, is political to its core.

    2. @Muddykid

      1 + 2 could be a huge advantage so that the researcher didn´t corrupt the data through his interferences and biases

      btw the vast majority of “facts” from american preppers about europe are ´n interesting information of their biases about europe

      The few who give me a thought provoking another point of view are exceptions

      1. ThoDan,

        I kindly disagree. How this data was complied is not discussed. But, if they are using a quantitative based approach (for 3 million data entries), then at best, we only get a very generalized snapshot that was complied by generalities and multiple choice questions.

        If I asked you the following:

        “Why do you participate in prepping? Answer from the choices below that best describe your reasons

        1. Politics
        2. Fear
        3. Concern
        4. Religion”

        What have I really learned about you? Or prepping? Is your interest in prepping as simple as a single choice that I created for you? Or, could I get a better understanding if I interviewed you several times, over a year or more, and then coded those interviews with a systematic approach that others could replicate?

        Bias plays a role in all research. What makes some research standout above others is the level of detail and accountability for those biases.

    1. jima,

      A PhD usually requires eight years at university.
      Eight years at university to work out their problems?

      [shakes head, squints in befuddlement]

      Does this sound like circular logic?

    2. This is a documented fact with psychology majors. A friend was one, and forgive my lack of detailed recollection,but studies showed it was well over 90% that went into the field to figure out their own issues.

  3. We just went to a larger town to get better supply of canned goods. Next week we will stock up on cleaning supplies and pharmacy items such as Aleve-D and the like. We have a good supply already of all things but jusst want to keep ahead of the game.

  4. Here we go… They were entirely in denial about Joe Biden’s involvement in any of this. Now that evidence to the contrary is being revealed, the story is changing. Of course the first effort was to suppress this news with the help of tech giants. …but as that effort fails, the story line will change. Just watch… They’ll try to fold this into the news as if it’s really not such a big deal, or use some other strategy to try to redirect any attention away from the important implications coming into the light.

    Folks. This is unbelievably important breaking news, and the implications of this story (and others before us right now) are existential.

  5. Cougar stalking- Looks to me like the guy keeps setting himself up to be a victim. I see plenty of throwing size rocks laying around, The cat is presenting a nice wide target by posturing broadside, and backing up just screams. ‘I am the pray, and you are the hunter’

    1. If a cougar is that close and that aggressive do NOT bend down to pick up a rock. Stay upright, face it, speak up back up. Later, after the cougar runs away you will have time to regret your decision to not bring a weapon. Not just a gun, but perhaps a knife, a hatchet, a machete/ax, a walking stick, a collapsible baton, etc.

  6. re:
    cougar video by jo99er

    A couple-three points:

    Based on his telephone video, his priority seems to be fame on TheWorldWideWeb.

    If a mountain lion wanted him for supper, he would be scribbles on a coroner report instead of breathlessly ‘showing city-folk the dangers of nature!’.

    Similar to any predator — two-legged or four-legged — each successful attack or successful retreat is a lesson in the limitations of prey.

    Allowing the predator — two-legged or four-legged — to escape increases the likelihood of increasingly bolder attacks on weaker prey next time.

    Every inch of the Western Hemisphere is the territory of big cats — cougar and jaguar.
    For example, the California coast resort of Santa Cruz has downtown sightings of strolling mountain lions.
    Anybody saying ‘that over there is cougar country’ is delusional.

    I am not advocating everybody exterminate the big cats.
    Each part of nature has an essential role.
    Some studies link the Californian extermination of grizzly bears to the devastating forest fires…

    1. “Some studies link the Californian extermination of grizzly bears to the devastating forest fires…”

      I’ve read that. And a bunch of other studies.
      As someone who spends a great deal of time in wilderness areas and in the woods, I chuckle when I read these “studies”

      They wouldn’t allow logging in a large area of one of the recent, “and still burning” areas here in Oregon. Gotta save the spotted owl they said.

      Now, they are cutting 2-3 hundred thousand trees in that area to keep them from tipping over and blocking the highway.

      Really poor forest management is a big problem here.

  7. Today’s O/S response:

    The Lion: I suspect the hiker tried to get close to the cubs. That mama cat was just posturing. I hike regularly in lion country always with protection.

    The Amalam: Twenty-five years ago, when I was in my late forties, the craze was amalgam worry. I decided to have a blood test because the military installed a ton of mercury in my teeth when I signed up in 1968. The test result was zero mercury in my system.

    Pitiful Portland: How many police officers were arrested?

  8. 1) Re Mountain people, note the Hatfield -McCoy Feud: Because someone stole a pig, over a dozen people were killed , women and children were shot/ had their house set on fire, the governors of West Virginia and Kentucky prepared to go to war and 8 men were sent to prison for murder after the Supreme Court ruled illegal kidnapping is okay.

    2) The Roman Empire was stopped at the mountains of Scotland and Winston Churchill noted how Britons who refused to accept Rome’s power found refuge in the mountains of Wales.

    3) However, I think there are other areas that have a similar culture — places that are poor and not worth the expense of the Rich establishing their tyranny.

    Chester PA, Camden NJ, some parts of Baltimore,etc have murder rates per capita that rank among the highest on Earth. The federal government created a new Combatant Command a few years ago — AFRICOM — after it finally realized that Al Qaeda was using the lack of law enforcement in poverty stricken areas of Africa to hide out.

    4) Conversely, while the narrow canyons of Appalachia’s Cumberland Plateau are not tank territory, they are vulnerable to special forces fast roping out of helicopters. Which may be why the Special Army Aviation Unit that took out Osama Bin Laden in the mountains of Pakistan is based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky while the tanks of Third Corps are based in Fort Hood Texas and the swamp fighters of the Green Berets are based in the swampy Carolinas. heh heh heh

    1. Why wasn´t the roman empire stopped in the apennins, alps, pyrenees, taurus, other iberian mountains or the balkan region?

      AFRICOM HQ is in Stuttgart Germany

  9. The 12-year-old building the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor: this just isn’t that big of a deal. Most Americans aren’t aware of it, because fusion reactors don’t power their house, but nuclear fusion is commonplace, and has been for decades. These Farnsworth fusors produce somewhat-fast neutrons at the flip of a switch. Very useful for researchers. But it uses MORE ENERGY in electricity than it puts out in neutrons.

    They’re cool, and I always wanted to build a fusor (I’m an electronics engineer, a nerd from childhood). But this just isn’t that big of a deal. Get back to me when some kid builds a nuclear fusion reactor that puts out MORE energy than it requires.

    1. A few years back a high school student built a suitcase nuclear bomb for a science project. If I remember correctly the experts said that it (the design at least if not his actual device) would work.

      1. Actually a nuclear bomb isn’t that hard to build. The hard part is getting the materials. In high school back in the eighties you could find information in the library. I did some research and can still remember design and specs for a simple low yield device.

    2. I built a spherical version way back when. Had a pretty good neutron production. Would have made a good breeder for plutonium. Had to shield it with 10 inches of UHMWPE for neutrons, and 2″ of lead for the X-rays. The sphere had to get disposed of as low level nuclear waste.

  10. Terrified Utah Hiker Films Cougar Stalking Him

    Mountain lion along with Grizzly are common in my area, and find their way into town, probably attracted by all the small and slow moving animals usually referred to as ‘pets’. I have one story where a hunter using the power line clearing, alerted by his 6th sense, turned around. As the cat leaped toward him, he was able to get off a shot that saved his life. I’ve often seen them using quiet country roads as highways and byways. An animal might use these roads that humans also use from time to time. The hiker just happened to be on the same road. Between the wolves, cats, and griz, it is best to be prepared. There are better rifles for the job, but the common and inexpensive .30-06 is hard to beat. For any occasion, a good running semi auto in a Browning Safari would be nice, but an inexpensive Remington 742, or 7400 jam’omatic using heavy for caliber bullets in .30-06 would work. A .50 Beowolf, or .450 Bushmaster would be better, yet are beyond my country mouse budget. But a bolt action would be better than nothing. JWR’s advice should be heeded out here.

    I have an unexpected visitor headed my way, so I must find a box to shower them with gifts from the garden, that includes, not only fruit, but also seed. They are going to need it.

    1. The best gun is the one you happen to have with you when you need a gun. When I walk in the woods it is usually my 9mm but sometimes my .357. Neither one is “adequate for a grizzly but either on is better than a 30-06 sitting at home in my closet because it is too big to carry every time I walk in the woods.

  11. You all need to listen to Chuck Baldwin today.

    Baldwin is speaking about laws in Montana which indicate that an Emergency Order by the Governor only lasts 30 days and expires automatically after 30 days, unless the President enacts a Federal Emergency order.

    Until the Presidents ends his Emergency Declaration, Montana’s Emergency order stays in force until the President ends it.

    President Trump has not yet ended the the Federal Emergency declaration for our whole country, therefore Montana and all of our other states are still under the Emergency orders… This continued State of Emergency is in the President’s court!

    1. Trump will be happy when we are chipped and vaccinated and in a cashless society. Look at what a police state Australia and New Zealand are being turned into.

  12. 25 years ago I had a cougar as a house guest ,note my wording ,guest ,raised from a cub ,slept in bed with me ,a wonderful companion, that cat was protecting her cubs ,from my read of her body language ,if that would have been a bear it would have attacked ,,city people ugh

    1. Yes, not sure but I heard something about him trying to video the cubs when mama”intervened”. That he then responded by videoing his “retreat”; to be able to post it tell me all I gotta know!

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