Larry Hall is developing luxury nuclear bunkers underground at an old nuclear missile site in Kansas. Hall says the Survival Condos, starting at $1.5 million, are "nuclear-hardened bunkers that are engineered… to accommodate not just your physical protection but your mental wellbeing as well." From BBC News:
Mr Hall says he has spent millions on providing the complex with every possible feature to keep residents safe both now and for an indefinite period, should a catastrophic event occur.
These include air and water filtration systems, a range of energy sources (including wind power), and the capacity to grow plants and breed fish for food supplies. Armed guards patrol the entrance.
There are many other features too, such as a cinema, swimming pool, surgery, golf range, and even a rock climbing wall. "It's like a miniature cruise ship," says Mr Hall.
He believes that luxury touches like these could help to explain a development that may seem a little surprising.
At first, he says, clients saw owning an apartment as "like life insurance", just something to be used in case of an emergency. But now some purchasers have come to regard their apartments as second homes, making regular use of them for weekends or longer breaks.
"Everyone comments on how well they sleep here," he adds.
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Atlas Survival Shelters sells huge corrugated pipe shelters outfitted for living with air filtration systems, Co2 scrubbers, and power generators. A 10' x 20' shelter goes for $30-$40,000 and the "Hillside Retreat," a 10' x 51', runs as high as $109,000. Options include a big screen TV, electric fireplace, oak flooring, hatch camouflaged as a boulder, and many other fine amenities. From their pitch:
The only bunkers manufactured today that has actually been tested against the effects of a nuclear bomb and has passed, is the round corrugated pipe shelters (used in the 1950s) by the U.S. Army Corps of Enginneers..
The round shape worked then and still works today! There is little difference between the bunkers made 50 years ago and the bunkers made today except the addition of modern interiors, NBC air filtration systems, Co2 scrubbers, generators, and high-tech electronics. There is no other shape other then round that will allow you to reach the depth underground that you need for maximum protection for your family and to allow the climate to be controlled underground.
"Beware the Square". No pre-manufactured square metal bunkers passed the nuclear test and should only be regarded as a fallout shelter or tornado shelter at best!
Atlas Survival Shelters (via Uncrate)
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Vesna Vulović was a JAT Yugoslav Airlines flight attendant when her plane exploded mid-air in 1972, sending her hurtling toward earth in the tail of the aircraft. Her miraculous survival remains the record height for surviving a freefall without a parachute
. Read the rest
Grant Thompson took a moment from his trip to Hawaii to show how to bust open a coconut without expending more energy than the coconut will provide. There are two parts: getting through the outer husk, and cracking the nut itself. Read the rest
Chris Nicholls of the Camera StoreTV demonstrates what to do if you are lost in the woods with only your camera gear.
Tying flies is boring.
(h/t PetaPixel) Read the rest
If the power goes out, Willow Haven Outdoor reminds us you might have some household items that would make a good candle. Read the rest
You'll a few more things -- some copper cotterpins, some zinc nails, insulated wire, and steel wool. You make a battery out of the lemon, short it against the steel wool, which makes it red hot, and that lights the tinder you've set on top of it.
(via Kottke) Read the rest
In 2012 American journalist Michael Scott Moore (who wrote a great history of surfing, Sweetness and Blood) was kidnapped by Somali pirates and held for $20 million ransom. As soon as I started reading his enthralling account of the 977-day ordeal, my heart began to race.
One night in late February, a month after my capture, the guards hauled me in a Land Rover, alone, to a remote part of the bush to meet the pirate kingpin. I had heard of Garfanji but never seen a picture. He was a powerful criminal, with a reputation for cruelty as well as kindness to his own men.
The person I met in the bush that night seemed groggy and dull-witted; he sat cross-legged in the dust and spoke in a high, almost childish voice. He dialled a private American negotiator on his softly glowing smartphone.
The negotiator said, “The man who just handed you the phone is Mohammed Garfanji,” and my blood felt just like ice water. “They aren’t beating you or anything like that, are they?” he asked.
“No,” I said, although one boss, Ali Duulaay, had beaten me several times. “Not systematically,” is what I meant.
"My 977 days held hostage by Somali pirates" [theguardian.com] Read the rest
I am a huge fan of this Gerber survival series fire starter. It is cheap, rugged and easy to use.
After nearly 30 years of camping use, a block of magnesium I used as a fire starter wore away to nothing. They still sell the same tiny blocks of alloy, but I wanted to try something new. Maybe I felt in a rut. This Gerber Bear Grylls tool is a welcome replacement. Well sized to fit both my hands, the striker is easy to scrape down the rod and throw off some good sized, hot and long burning sparks. Snapping the two together results in an o-ring sealed tube with space for tinder. Gerber recommends jamming some cotton balls in there, I can fit 5 or 6 but also carry a few sticks of fat wood with me on every camping trip. Fat wood always works.
This is a simple, well thought out tool that easily fits in my backpack or sidebags on the bike. I'm looking forwards to decades of easy use.
Gerber 31-000699 Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter vis Amazon Read the rest
This War of Mine
Polish developer 11bit Studios' recently-released
, a bit of a different look at video games' favorite setting. Focused on hiding, building and survival, it puts the player in charge of a team of civilians.
The game was inspired by the 1,425 day-long Siege of Sarajevo, which began in 1992 during the Bosnian War. Last night I played with a friend, guiding an unlikely family of survivors through the dangerous work of scavenging food and supplies, and fortifying a shell of a home against invaders. You manage different civilians each time -- this time we had an athlete, a reporter and a chef in our care. Later, we were joined by a warm school principal who was scared to be alone. We had no kids to care for and couldn't afford the extra mouth, but we couldn't turn her away.
After two weeks of building rat traps and water filters and bargaining with other wanderers, scavenging in abandoned rubble -- imagine The Sims, but very, very dark, made moreso by the lifelike photographs of our characters -- we found a hotel overrun by armed madmen. It was a gripping reminder that combatants are hardly the only consideration in conflict.
The game is available on Steam.
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Have you ever wanted to be alone in the woods, drinking your own urine to survive? Probably not, that'd be weird. But you've wondered if you could do it, right? An exclusive essay by the author of the new science fiction novel, The Martian, out in paperback today
Bryan M of Digg writes: "John All fell 70 feet down a crevasse, which left him seriously injured and unable to use his right arm."
He recorded four videos about his ordeal as it was happening!
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The Wolfram Cabinet contains 170 items critical to human survival. Survival will cost $14,500 and require about 40 cubic feet. The inventory. The brochure. The relatively inexpensive briefcase edition. [via Uncrate] Read the rest
In 2011, the Pagami Creek Fire burned through 92,000 acres of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area. At Outside magazine, Frank Bures tells the story of two kayakers caught in the inferno
. Includes some amazing photos taken by one of the kayakers. Read the rest
Nokia's latest ultra-cheap candybar phone looks like a good replacement for my trusty e-ink Moto F3. A month's battery life on standby, an FM radio and an LED flashlight add up to a perfect "backup" phone for long-term blackouts, natural disasters and zombie holocausts. [Engadget]
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Now this is how you do multimedia.
At The New York Times, John Branch tells the amazing, terrifying story of 16 backcountry skiers and snowboarders caught in an avalanche in the Cascade mountains in February 2012. The article, by itself, is a must-read. But you should also take a look at the absolutely fantastic way that Branch and his editors put the online medium to good use — embedding interactive maps, photos that move like something out of Harry Potter, and more standard videos into a lovely, fluid design.
Alissa Walker, who pointed me toward this piece, said that she felt cold just reading it. And you really do get that feeling. All the elements of Branch's article are brought together in a way that enhances the urgency and amplifies your sense of experiencing somebody else's story. It's really, really, really fantastic.
Read the full story at The New York Times Read the rest
The latest from Joey Roth, designer of minimalist teapots and speakers, is more down to earth: a compass pendant. Made with Shwood in Portland, the frame is laser-cut from maple and rosewood; the compass itself is a Francis Barker model. Read the rest