Letter from “Fred the Valmet Meister” Re: Low Compression / Low RPM Stationary Engines

I just discovered these cool “Hit and Miss” gas engines made in the 1920s and 1930s by Maytag. They were used to power washing machines. Very simple engine; maybe one horsepower. You start it with a foot pedal that leverages a gear to spin the crankshaft to get it going. What a wonderful little engine for a remote location.  These could be used to power the washing machine or even run a small generator to charge up a bank of 12 volt batteries. I noticed that there are currently several for sale on eBay and they even have leather drive belts for them and water pumps. Could be used to fill up a water tank for gravity feed. – Fred

Letter From Fred The Valmet-meister Re: Asian Avian Flu

I heard Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO last night talking about the Asian bird flu. I also read the link you gave to the article on WorldNetDaily. Dr. Bill really scared me this time! I am a bit depressed hearing what he said last night. He said that if the virus does make the jump to humans, it will kill half the population of the Earth. I’m not kidding he said that. He said it would be worse than a nuclear bomb going off in the major big cites because everyone would try to flee. Oh my God. I think we’ll be living in caves at this rate of Doom and Gloom.
I think if that does happen, the grid will be up with hardly anyone using it. – Fred

JWR Replies: A species-line crossing mutation of the Asian Avian Flu is not likely. (I’d hazard a a guess at less than a 2% chance anytime in the next decade–perhaps some of the doctors who read SurvivalBlog would care to comment) But if Dr. Bill is right–if it does happen, then it would be devastating, possibly plunging the world into a second Dark Age. See my blog archives (including my post on August 8th and the the letter from Nurse “Alma Frances Livengood” that was posted on August 23rd). The latter described which drugs to keep on hand, just in case.