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 “HJL ”. The TSA is at it again. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, this utterly useless agency has found yet another way to annoy travelers.
My favorite crazy knife maker, kiwami japan has released yet another knife manufacturing video. This one is made from a plastic coke bottle . This one was quite a bit easier to make than some of his previous knives, but still rates right about in the middle for sharpness. I do wish he would include how many hours it took him to make the knife in his description though. His sharpening methods are always manual and produce very uniform and beautiful results.
As a bonus, he has started to include little tips and easy gadgets to make certain tasks easier. The one included in this video is how to modify a cardboard parchment paper dispenser to dispense the paper and at the same time get rid of the “curl” that drives everyone crazy.
First it was your laptops and phones, then it was your liquids and your shoes. Now, the TSA wants your snacks . Despite not being part of the agency’s standard procedures, a recommendation issued by the agency last year is gaining steam. Many screening check points now require you to remove your snacks from your carry on luggage and place them in a separate bin. It should be noted that despite treating every passenger as a criminal, the TSA has a horrible track record for the exact task they are supposed to carry out. Study after study shows how easily contraband makes it past the screeners, Yet in their entire existence, not one terrorist plot has been foiled by their actions. This may actually be the one agency that is less desirable than the BATF. Thanks to DSV for the link.
Quad-copter drones, schmones…
The government is worried about hobby drones these days, but that’s really because they are becoming ubiquitous. It has nothing to do with what uses they have or who uses them. It’s all about control. Take this video  sent in by reader T.P. for example. This guy just built a 400mph+ Remote controlled model jet plane. If one were to place a live feed from a cell phone video camera in the nose, you would have an instant air to ground attack missile. This whole thing is starting to sound eerily familiar to the “gun control” thing. (Jump to the 2:22 mark for the actual launch and flight of this plane.)
There is nothing quite like shredding evidence of an illegal act to hide your culpability. According to this article sent in by reader H.L., the NSA has been busy scrubbing several years worth  of call records (meta data) that were swept up in foreign intelligence surveillance wiretaps that it was never authorized to collect. They claim that “technical irregularities” caused the oversight.
A Vernon, Connecticut woman received a shock when her doctor’s office called her to report that her private medical information was online at Amazon . Apparently, the woman had been recently diagnosed with a malady and had purchased a personalized medical alert bracelet from a third-party seller on Amazon. This company then photographed the bracelet and used it as promotional material for their product, exposing the woman’s private data for all the world to see. To be fair, the responsibility for this error rests squarely on the third-party seller and not Amazon. What kind of company can’t spare one item from their inventory to personalize a fictitious person? The product has since been removed along with the damning photos, but you know once it’s on the Internet, it’s permanent.
Forms of Cash
Showing that the government has a tenuous hold on cash at best, Reader S.R. sent in this article showing that the ancient Mayans actually used chocolate  as a form of money at the height of their civilization. Money is simply a tangible object that is used to represent value. The actual value is in the labor and service performed (man hours) or the product produced. The U.S. dollar (or any other fiat currency) only has value because people accept it as such. Recent discussion valuing precious metals in dollars are an example of that. How do you truly represent the real value of something with a piece of paper (or digital ones and zeros) that only have value because the government says it has the value? What happens when the currency is debased so thoroughly that no one accepts the government’s statement that it has value?
Get Your Nickels While You Can
SurvivalBlog has been warning for years that the composition of the U.S. nickel is about to change. The cost of manufacturing the nickle is currently about $0.07 so many options have been discussed to bring the manufacturing costs down. Introducing new pocket change is a difficult task. The new coin must look and feel similar to the old one or people will reject it. The metal also must not corrode when held in a sweaty hand, must be durable to survive decades of use and has to have an exact electrical conductivity so vending machines won’t reject it. This time around, the government used powerful computer simulations  to perform the research rather than trial and error. With the hard research done, we are that much closer to the replacement nickel. Thanks to L.G. for the link.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact  form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!