Thursday, 18 June 2009

Australian Drought Leads to First "Water Rage" Murder

In Australia's first known case of murder due to "water rage," a dispute over a suburban man's water usage led to him being beaten to death in front of his home. According to police, 66-year-old Ken Proctor was watering the lawn in front of his home in Sydney on October 31 at approximately 5:30 p.m. when a passerby made a comment to him about wasting water. Proctor then turned his hose on the other man, who knocked him to the ground and began to punch and kick him. The attacker was tackled by two bystanders, including an off-duty policeman, and an ambulance came for Proctor. Proctor later died in the hospital after experiencing a massive heart attack.

Due to a severe, nearly eight-year drought, intensive water restrictions are in place across most of Australia. Nearly all states have banned garden sprinklers and the use of hoses on cars or sidewalks.

Sydney, in addition, prohibits leaving hoses or taps unattended except to filling pools, and permits are required for pools larger than 10,000 gallons. The use of fire hoses is prohibited for any use other than firefighting. Hand watering of lawns or gardens is only allowed on Wednesdays or Sundays before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

Because the incident that led to his death happened on a Wednesday, Proctor was actually complying with the city's water rules at the time.

The drought is Australia's worst in at least 100 years. Combined with over-extraction of water, the drought has caused the flows of the country's two largest southeast rivers, the Murray and Darling, to dwindle. More than three-quarters of New South Wales is experiencing a drought, and Victoria has announced that 100 percent of its farmland has been hit.

While a number of suburban disputes, arguments and calls to police have risen from water restrictions, Proctor's is believed to be the first death cause by such a water dispute.

Global Food Production Plummets in 2009

Global food production is expected to plummet between 20 and 40 percent in 2009, due to widespread drought and other stresses on agricultural production

Two-thirds of the world's food is produced in countries currently in the grip of droughts. The extent of this crisis can easily be seen by a chart on the Web site of the Center for Research on Globalization:

Much media attention has focused on a severe drought in Northern China, one of the wheat producing capitals of the world. There, the worst drought in 50 years has already resulted in damage to 161 million mu (26.5 million acres) of crops. In Australia, suffering its worst drought in 117 years, 41 percent of crops have been harmed, farmers have begun abandoning land, rivers have run dry and lakes have evaporated to such an extent that they have turned toxic.

In the United States, Texas and the Southeast remains in the throes of a severe drought. California's drought is the worst in recorded history, with thousands of acres already fallow and worse likely to come -- the Northern Sierra snowpack, which provides much of the state's water as it melts, only reached 49 percent of its average thickness this winter.

Less well-publicized but equally devastating droughts have also gripped other agricultural areas of the world. In Latin America, agricultural emergencies have been declared in six countries, including soy-, corn- and cattle-producing giants Argentina and Brazil. The La Nina weather pattern is expected to make the situation worse in both Pacific South America and the southern United States.

Eastern and southern Africa, and western and central Asia are also facing severe droughts. The wheat harvest in eastern South Africa is expected to be the lowest in 30 years. In Central Asia and the Middle East, wheat harvests have dropped an average of 22 percent, reaching as high as 98 percent in northern Iraq.

Farmers have also been hurt by a lack of credit due to the financial crisis, making it harder to buy fertilizer or seed. Even in Europe, which has been relatively untouched by drought, unusual climate conditions and degraded soil have led to a projected 10 to 15 percent drop in crop output.

Indigenous ‘genocide’ in battle for oilfields

It has been called the world’s second “oil war” but the only similarity between Iraq and events in the jungles of northern Peru over the past few weeks has been the mismatch of force. On one side have been police armed with automatic weapons, tear gas, helicopter gunships and armoured cars. On the other are several thousand Awajun and Wambis Indians, many of them in war paint and armed with bows and arrows, and spears.

In some of the worst violence in Peru in 20 years, the Indians warned Latin America what could happen if companies are given free access to the Amazonian forests to exploit an estimated 6billion barrels of oil and take as much timber as they like.

After months of peaceful protests, the police were ordered to use force to remove a roadblock near Bagua Grande.

In the fights that followed, nine police officers and at least 50 Indians were killed, with hundreds more wounded or arrested. The indigenous rights group Survival International described it as “Peru’s Tiananmen Square”.

“For thousands of years, we’ve run the Amazon forests,” said Servando Puerta, one of the protest leaders. “This is genocide. They’re killing us for defending our lives, our sovereignty, human dignity.”

As riot police broke up more demonstrations in Lima and a curfew was imposed on many Peruvian Amazonian towns, President Alan Garcia backed down in the face of condemnation of the massacre. He suspended – but only for three months – laws that would allow the forest to be exploited.

Peru is just one of many countries in open conflict with its indigenous people over natural resources. Barely reported in the international press, there have been major protests around mines, oil, logging and mineral exploitation in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. Hydroelectric dams, biofuel plantations as well as coal, copper, gold and bauxite mines are all at the centre of major land rights disputes.

A massive military force continued last week to raid communities opposed to oil companies’ presence on the Niger delta. The delta, which provides 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign earnings, has always been volatile but guns have flooded in and security has deteriorated.

Nigeria’s main militant group said yesterday it had destroyed an oil pipeline belonging to the US company Chevron.

“A major gas pipeline manifold and another major crude oil pipeline belonging to Chevron JV recently repaired at a sum of over $US56 million [$68million] were both blown up,” the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said.

It warned that its fighters were heading to the Chevron tank farm in Escravos and urged staff to flee.

The escalation of violence came in the week that Shell agreed to pay £9.7million ($19.7million) to ethnic Ogoni families – whose homeland is in the delta – who had led a peaceful uprising against it and other oil companies in the 1990s, and who had taken the company to court in New York accusing it of complicity in writer Ken Saro-Wiwa’s execution in 1995.

In West Papua, Indonesian forces protecting some of the world’s largest mines have been accused of human rights violations. Hundreds of tribesmen have been killed in the past few years in clashes between the army and people with bows and arrows.

“An aggressive drive is taking place to extract the last remaining resources from indigenous territories,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpus, chairwoman of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues. “There is a crisis of human rights. There are more and more arrests, killings and abuses.

“This is happening in Russia, Canada, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nigeria, the Amazon, all over Latin America, Papua New Guinea and Africa,” MsTauli-Corpus said. “It is global. We are seeing a human rights emergency. A battle is taking place for natural resources everywhere. Much of the world’s natural capital – oil, gas, timber, minerals – lies on or beneath lands occupied by indigenous people.”

Source: Global Research

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Ipod apps of interest

If you own an iphone or ipod touch then here's a selection apps that may be of some interest to the outdoor enthusiast.

First up is Chirp! and Chirp! USA. I highly recommend these apps from ispiny, here's the marketing from their website:

The Chirp! family of apps for iPhone and iPod Touch feature the songs of the most common birds of backyards, gardens, parks and woodland, in north-west Europe and the USA. Tap the name of the bird to hear its song, tap again to stop the song. If you need extra help in learning the songs, simply tap the bird photo to flip it over and reveal helpful tips. After listening, try the quiz to test your memory. Answer fast to earn a score multiplier and get on the high score table!

A very special feature of Chirp! is that birds are arranged in order of commonness - no more searching through rare birds to find the one singing on your lawn.
Other key features include:

* Your location is checked on first start-up to load the correct bird data
* A map screen allows birds from different areas to be compared
* High quality sounds and stunning photos (male birds)
* Links to Wikipedia and (USA only) Cornell Lab of Ornithology
* Quiz with three levels of difficulty - suitable for all the family
* Frequent updates, adding extra birds

Chirp! USA features birds from across continental USA (excl Alaska). More birds will be added, with priority given to user's suggestions. We already have a variety of Chickadees, Grosbeaks, Woodpeckers, Sparrows, Bluebirds and many more, so let us know if your favorite is missing.

Chirp! Europe features birds of north-west Europe. It is available in English, German, French, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian and also partially translated into Danish and Irish Gaelic. The app runs in the main language of your iPod/iPhone but to see the bird names and song comments on another language, go to the main settings of your device, scroll down until you see the Chirp! settings and choose a language from the list.

Cheap Chirp! is a free ad-supported cut-down version of Chirp! It does not include all the birds and does not include a map screen for changing location, but does give you a taste of the full version.

The chirp series are updated regulary, you can download the free lite version or if you have jailbroken your phone/touch and are a cheap bastard then try out the full versions via the installous app.


Next up is Butterflies of Britain & Ireland from
I only had a vague interest in butterflies before but this app gives you more than the usual identifying info. Each of the many butterflies have photos for the upperside, underside, colour varients, larva, egg, pupa, male/female, larvae etc it also gives details on which plants they commonly lay or feed on along with a map of distribution and phenogram.
A lot of work and detail went into this app and you will never fail to learn something new each time you look at it. (Did you know the Red Admiral likes to get drunk on over ripe orchard fruit or fermenting tree sap, the guy who wrote this info found over forty of them at one time lying totally drunk , some on their backs waving their legs feebly in the air, under a damaged tree).
This app is £9.99 or to see if it's worth it then you can find it via installous.


Next up is the north woods field guides which can be found seperately or in a all in one app. It covers 7 subjects: fish, flowers, fly fishing, garden insects, scat, tracks and trees.
Each subject has very little to choose from, some have a little info on the subject and some don't but all have hand drawn colour pictures which lack detail and even worse not a single sample includes the Latin name, it's local common names in America.
The one good thing going for this i the quiz which will give a picture and you have a choice of 4 answers but the whole app looks and feels like it's still in it's alpha stage, it has a lot of potential so much so i wish i could improve it myself. At the moment this app is just a basic idea and not worth paying anything for it even if it is only 59p each or £2.99 for the lot, one for installous only.

More apps tomorrow

Free Map Reading Book

Howdy ho folks thanks to BT and their remarkable incompetence i lost my connection for while but thanks to Dick Branson and his virgin pipes i have a much faster connection.

Well for anyone who actually bothers returning to this blog then here is a link to a free ebooklet written by the Ordnance Survey called Map Reading: From the beginner to the advanced map reader.
Down it from George Fisher directly
or from here if old George removes it.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


This book is expensive, really expensive, you can buy it new on Amazon UK for £133.35 ($159.20 = £109.40) and comes with a DVD which is a lot of money to gamble on a book so I decided to post the link to the torrent for the .chm edition of the book (DVD not included). If you like it and think it's worth it then make sure you buy it.


Text with DVD
Fifth Edition

Paul Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP, FAWM, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Manage any medical emergency you encounter in the great outdoors! Every day, more and more people are venturing into the wilderness and extreme environments...and many are unprepared for the dangers that come with these adventures. Whether these victims are stranded on mountain tops, lost in the desert, trapped deep in the woods, or injured far out at sea, this indispensable resource equips rescuers and health care professionals to diagnose and treat the full range of emergencies and health problems encountered in the wilderness!



1. High Altitude Medicine 2. Avalanches 3. Lightning Injuries


4. Thermoregulation 5. Accidental Hypothermia 6. Immersion in Cold Water 7. Nonfreezing Cold-Induced Injuries 8. Frostbite 9. Polar Medicine 10. Pathophysiology of Heat-Related Illnesses 11. Clinical Management of Heat-Related Illnesses


12. Wildland Fires: Dangers and Survival 13. Emergency Care of the Burned Victim 14. Exposure to Radiation from the Sun 15. Volcanic Eruptions


16. Injury Prevention 17. Principles of Pain Management 18. Bandaging and Taping 19. Emergency Airway Management 20. Wilderness Trauma, Surgical Emergencies, and Wound Management 21. Improvisation in the Wilderness 22. Hunting and Other Weapons Injuries 23. Tactical Medicine and Combat Casualty Care 24. Wilderness Orthopaedics 25. The Eye in the Wilderness 26. Wilderness Dentistry and Management of Facial Injuries 27. Wilderness Cardiology 28. Wilderness Neurology 29. Chronic Diseases and Wilderness Activities 30. Mental Health in the Wilderness


31. Wilderness Emergency Medical Services and Response Systems 32. Search and Rescue 33. Technical Rescue in the Wilderness Environment 34. Litters and Carries 35. Aeromedical Transport 36. Essential of Wilderness Survival 37. Jungle Travel and Survival 38. Desert Travel and Survival 39. Whitewater Medicine and Rescue 40. Caving and Cave Rescue


41. Protection from Blood-Feeding Arthropods 42. Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Diseases 43. Malaria 44. Arthropod Envenomation and Parasitism 45. Tick-Borne Diseases 46. Spider Bites 47. Scorpion Envenomation 48. Bites by Venomous Reptiles in the Americas 49. Bites by Venomous Snakes outside the Americas 50. Antivenoms and Immunobiologicals: Immunotherapeutics of Envenomation 51. Bites and Injuries Inflicted by Wild and Domestic Animals 52. Bear Behavior and Attacks 53. Wilderness-Acquired Zoonoses 54. Rabies 55. Emergency Veterinary Medicine


56. Seasonal and Acute Allergic Reactions 57. Plant-Induced Dermatitis 58. Toxic Plant Ingestions 59. Toxic Mushroom Ingestions 60. Ethnobotany: Plant-Derived Medical Therapy


61. Field Water Disinfection 62. Infectious Diarrhea from Wilderness and Foreign Travel 63. Nutrition, Malnutrition, and Starvation 64. Dehydration, Rehydration, and Hyperhydration 65. Living off the Land 66. Seafood Toxidromes 67. Seafood Allergies


68. Submersion Incidents 69. Emergency Oxygen Administration 70. Diving Medicine 71. Hyperbaric Medicine 72. Injuries from Nonvenomous Aquatic Animals 73. Envenomation by Aquatic Invertebrates 74. Envenomation by Aquatic Vertebrates 75. Aquatic Skin Disorders 76. Safety and Survival at Sea


77. Travel Medicine 78. Non-North American Travel and Exotic Diseases 79. Natural Disaster Management 80. Natural and Human-Made Hazards: Disaster Risk Management Issues


81. Wilderness Preparation, Equipment and Medical Supplies 82. Outdoor Clothing for Wilderness Professionals 83. Nonmedical Backcountry Equipment for Wilderness Professionals 84. Ropes and Knot Tying 85. Wilderness Navigation Techniques


86. Exercise, Conditioning, and Performance 87. Children in the Wilderness 88. Women in the Wilderness 89. Elders in the Wilderness 90. Persons with Special Needs and Disabilities 91. Wilderness and Endurance Events 92. Wilderness Medicine Education 93. Medical Liability and Wilderness Emergencies 94. The Ethics of Wilderness Medicine


95. The Changing Environment 96. Wilderness Management and Preservation 97. Aerospace Medicine Appendix: Drug Storage and Stability Index

Bibliographic details
Hardbound, 2336 pages, publication date: MAR-2007
ISBN-13: 978-0-323-03228-5
ISBN-10: 0-323-03228-1
Imprint: MOSBY

You can grab a torrent from the list HERE 418MB

Monday, 16 March 2009

Aldi tools

Aldi seem to have a steady influx of home tools at the moment some of which i have bought. These tools are aimed at the home DIY enthusiast. Here's the list of my new toys all of which may still be in your local Aldi (descriptions from aldi web site). I'm very happy with them btw.
Update, they may look toyish but they do the job, i also added a few stickers over the power craft logos, they look a lot better already.

500W Bench Drill £41

Whizzing through wood and metal with pinpoint precision, this brilliant bench drill will make light work of all sorts of workshop tasks.
9 adjustable speeds (from 280-2350rpm)
16mm keyed chuck with safety guard
Drilling capacity: metal 16mm, wood 35mm
Fully-adjustable table with 0-45° left or right tilt
54mm clamp width
Sturdy cast-iron construction
Depth stop for precision drilling
Magnetic safety switch

240W Bench Grinder/Belt Sander £19.99

Dual-purpose system that will flatten/smooth out all sorts of imperfections in metal or woodwork pieces for a cleaner finish.
No load speed: 2950rpm
Grinding disc (for metal): 150 × 20 × 12.7mm
Abrasive grinding belt (fitted): 50 × 686mm (Grade: 150)
2 spare belts included – 50 × 686mm (Grade: 150)

204 Piece Drill Bit Set £19.99

40W Model Building and Engraving Set £10.69

Super-light, super-versatile tool for the dedicated model maker/arts and crafts enthusiast. It contains all you need to achieve a professional looking finish on a variety of creative projects. Includes 40 accessories for drilling, cutting, grinding, sanding, engraving and polishing.
Variable speed: 0-20,000rpm
Adaptor AC 230V, DC 18V
Transparent storage/carry case

1020W Angle Grinder £17.99

Metalwork, bricks, paving slabs, ceramic tiles, rusty rivets – slice through them all with ease.
1020 watts, 230V, 50Hz
2 diamond blades included
Safety goggles included

24V Cordless Hammer Drill £39.99
Versatile drill, including an all-purpose bit set, to tackle a range of jobs from masonry to metalwork.

24V/1.5Ah NiCad battery
2 mechanical speeds
Quick charger with LED load indication
Adjustable side handle
9 bits (plus bit holder)
Peacock keyless chuck (1.5-3mm)

Also bought extra grinding/cutting disks and other odd and ends, i have quite a few projects lined up which i will be posting here hopefully with video.

A greenpete success story

If your a fan of blades then watch this video, this guy has been making knifes for about a year (at time of making of video). He got started by watching the fantastic video from greenpete
and a year later he's making stunning blades like this.
I recommend you watch greenpetes video just to see how easy it is to make your very own knife, i recently bought all the tools he used but still need to get to the scrap yard. If i can make a knife half as good as this one then i'd be a very happy chappy.

The youtube page is HERE

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Palmyra woman finds roses made from birch shavings 'so real'

PALMYRA, Mo. — Joyce Wagner knew about good, unique crafts -- she'd been buying them for years.
But the Palmyra resident never really made any of her own until last year when she spotted wooden roses at a fair in Fulton.
"People were walking by, and I thought 'Why aren't those wilting?' " Wagner said.
She tracked down the booth selling the long-stemmed roses and discovered that they were wooden, made from birch shavings.
Wagner bought eight dozen and gave them away, then decided to track down the supplier herself. Once she found the maker in Colorado, she ordered 3,200 the first time. She has placed similar orders three more times since June.

Wagner's venture with the roses, along with her other business of selling streak-free cleaning cloths, has proven so successful she's quit her full-time work. Every weekend, she heads somewhere for an event where she sells the roses.

Story from HERE

Saving Chile's southern wilderness

Charles Darwin wrote about the region during the voyage of the Beagle

It is not every day that a Wall Street bank finds itself in possession of a chunk of land 50 times the size of Manhattan, covered in pristine forest, windswept grassland and snow-capped mountains.

But that's the position Goldman Sachs found itself in, in 2002 when it bought a package of distressed debt and assets from a US company called Trillium.

The resulting conservation project in the very south of Chile has been hailed by the bank and its partners, a US-based NGO, as an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to safeguard the world's last remaining wildernesses.

Chilean environmentalists are more sceptical but, even so, have largely applauded the project.

The story of what is now known as the Karukinka nature reserve dates back to the 1990s when Trillium bought land on Tierra del Fuego - a cluster of inhospitable islands between Chile and Argentina - clinging to the southernmost tip of South America.

The company planned to use the land for logging and wanted to cut down the lenga - a type of beech tree found only in this part of the world.

Environmental groups opposed the project and it eventually failed.

That was when Goldman Sachs stepped in, buying up Trillium's assets, including the land.

"It's not often that you're in a position where you buy a security and learn that you have 680,000 acres of land in Tierra del Fuego," says Tracy Wolstencroft, head of Goldman Sachs' Environmental Markets group.

"The more we realised what we had the more we realised how unique this property was."

The bank considered selling the land but realised it would face the same opposition as Trillium had.

So it took what some environmentalists now regard as a radical and enlightened step - it gave the land away to a New York-based environmental group, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Full story HERE

Nature defies the Big Freeze and heralds spring

Published Date:
02 March 2009
By Richard Morris
Ignore the cold snaps and big freezes - spring is on its way.
According to a recent nature survey bumble bees have been spotted here in 1066 County. Wildlife recorders have also logged birds building nests, snowdrops and frogspawn - all signs that spring is sprung.

However, according to one wildlife expert, it is not necessarily good news - especially with more cold weather predicted.

Shaun Nixon, manager for the Nature's Calendar, said: "The timing of natural events is one of the most responsive aspects of the natural world to warming, so it is an important indicator of change."

"There will be variations year on year, however, if we look back over the past 30 years we can see a marked advancement of spring, up to two weeks for insects and a week for plants.

"The fundamental concerns thrown up by spring's gradual advance are that food chains also come under pressure or even break down and species fooled by warmer weather into activity, blossoming or breeding can very vulnerable and can get caught out by the sort of freeze not uncommon in March."

As always this story was stolen from HERE

Maple syrup producers wait on Mother Nature

MONCTON - As David Briggs trudges into his forest of sugar maples, he thinks out loud about the coming syrup season.

"We can only hope it's not like last year," he said. "Not that there's much we can do about it - other than hope."

His boots break fresh holes in the snow around hundreds of trees, signalling the beginning of a new season.

New Brunswick ranks third in the world in maple syrup production and is home to the country's largest organic and conventional syrup producers.

Some of the province's 112 maple syrup makers already have spent months tapping their trees and setting up lines of plastic tubing in preparation for just a few weeks of production that may begin any day now.

They are praying that this year the weather will co-operate.

Two straight seasons of foundering production has cost the industry millions, spiking prices and decimating any reserve of syrup around the world.

"I mean 2007 was bad, but 2008 was miserable," Yvon Poitras, general manager of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association, said.

"It was the worst year in 35 years of production. We didn't even produce 50 per cent of normal production."

Canada accounts for 85 per cent of the world's production of maple syrup, the majority of it coming from Quebec. Each year the industry prefers to have a reserve of at least 30 per cent of its product to meet higher demands, Poitras said.

But there is currently virtually no reserve.

"If we don't get a good season we're going to be in big, big trouble," he said. "There are no reserves left anywhere. There is a lack of product all over the world."

Sap drips from maple trees when temperatures fluctuate from -5"‚C at night to 5"‚C during the day, usually beginning in mid-March.

Last year, snow storms buried tubing and forced producers to spend thousands of dollars clearing obstructions.

When the season finally came, it lasted only four days before temperatures turned drastically warm, ruining the sap season.

"We thought we had it made last year. The old guys were saying it was going to be a great season, and then nothing," he said. "We depend so much on Mother Nature that it's unbelievable.

"Everyone's got their fingers crossed, their legs crossed and everything else crossed to see what Mother Nature is going to dump on us this year."

New Brunswick can produce more than four million pounds of maple syrup each year, originating from more than two million tree taps.

That ranks behind Quebec and Vermont.

Poitras said the industry as a whole lost more than $5 million last year.

Even though syrup producers have had a difficult time of late, the industry could easily grow bigger. Poitras said his association is working with the province to utilize more Crown land that is heavily covered with maples.

New Brunswick is home to the largest single producer with 168,000 taps near Saint-Quentin. It is also home to a producer in Bath with 110,000 taps for organic syrup.

"Those are two things we love to boast about," Poitras said. " But if the weather doesn't co-operate, they may be the biggest, but the biggest of nothing in not much."

Gus Hargrove, owner of Canadian Organic Maple Co. Ltd., of Bath agrees.

His business has tapped into a growing sugar market, as an organic trend steers followers away from the refined substance. Hargrove now has an international market that spans Germany and China.

"The demand actually opened up some of the market for us, but it would be nice to have more to supply it," he said. "They seek you out because of it (a decrease in supply), especially in the last two years.

"But we're optimistic because we have had a couple bad years, so hey, third time lucky."

Briggs, the fifth generation in his family of maple syrup producers from the Moncton area, said there's no way to know what this season will have in store.

Regardless, the industry has served his family well. He plans to expand Rocky Mountain Maples to include a year-round business in Riverview to sell his maple syrup, butter, cream, candy, barbeque sauce and classic taffy.

"There's absolutely nothing we can do other than get ready for it," Briggs said.

"But this is a growing industry. Producers from all over the province are growing their operations."

Story stolen from HERE

The Old Lady's Camping Trip

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Viktor Schauberger

An interesting video which is a good introduction to Viktor Schauberger don't be put of by the look of presenter (Tom Brown I think - not THE Tom Brown Jnr).

A farm for the future

This programme seems to be recieving a lot of positive reviews on the net so i'm downloading it at the mo. It caught my eye as it mentioned forest gardening which is a passion of mine at the moment (will be posting links to some great videos on this soon)

Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key.

With her father close to retirement, Rebecca returns to her family's wildlife-friendly farm in Devon, to become the next generation to farm the land. But last year's high fuel prices were a wake-up call for Rebecca. Realising that all food production in the UK is completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel, particularly oil, she sets out to discover just how secure this oil supply is.

Alarmed by the answers, she explores ways of farming without using fossil fuel. With the help of pioneering farmers and growers, Rebecca learns that it is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low-energy future.

The following quote is from HERE
It offered a powerful combination of looking back and looking forward, underpinned all the time by her clear deep affection she has for the farm itself. and the deep respect she has for both her father and his work. It was surprisingly personal and moving. For me, the proof of this programme was a visit yesterday from my father in law, not usually one to be interested in such things, who had seen the programme, loved it, and told me excitedly that he now knew that hedgerows could be productive, and that fossil fuels are running out. He was very impressed with the agroforestry side of things, and I suspect that many people also watched it and found themselves similarly having Eureka moments as regards some of the insights about soil, ecosystems and the idea that food production need not necessarily involve huge tractors and lashings of diesel. It was also very powerful for people to start to realise that food production and biodiversity are not necessarily, as is often believed, mutually exclusive

You can still watch this on the BBC site but only for a limited time so here are a couple of torrent links to download it.

You can watch a short clip HERE (Trivia- I think the refinary in the background is Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire where the worlds biggest LNG plant operates)

UPDATE since watching

Sorry but i watched this and found it to be mostly a pile of crap.

First of it’s presented by some anoying female who as it turns out is the usual London career type who then decides to head out to country (i know she was from there anyway but she still acts like all the others).

She then starts bleating on about oil and how it effects farmers and all the doom and gloom that comes with it, fair enough but i got the impression she was telling herself that more than telling us as if she was just learning this herself and what little knowledge she does tell is hardly unkown anyway (unless you lived in the London bubble for years).

Now to the worst part of all. She sets up a so called live internet conversation with a bloke in the USA (remarkable image clarity and streaming they get down in Devon) which saves us TV licence payers the cost of her flying out there BUT after moaning about the fuel crisis she then jumps into her Land rover (not the most fuel effecient motor) then drives from Devon to SW Wales then onto a ferry (she doesnt say but i’m certain they dont use sails or oars) then drives to some point in Ireland to chat to some bloke for 2 minutes. Then on the ferry on the way back she’s moaning about the resources that went into the sandwich she just bought, it was at this point that i was going to switch off, she is a complete idiot and treating us the same.

But i held out as I have a strong passionate interest in forest gardening and permaculture. It’s only after she returns from Ireland that it finaly gets interesting, it wasnt very indepth but it was good to see her taking it seriously (in her own wishy washy way) but more importantly it was good to see more exposure for this subject.
It did make me wonder if she was going to do something similar herself on her dad’s farm which i hope she does, maybe a follow up episode but without all the nonsense.

England's largest forest takes shape on the edge of St Albans

When and if a plan to create an 850-acre forest on the edge of St Albans gets the go ahead it will create the largest new native woodland the people of England have ever seen. Neil Skinner joined residents on a guided tour on Saturday.

It's a development of immense size and scale; far in advance of anything the area has witnessed before – a project which dwarfs any supermarket or housing estate past or present.

Why, then, has it created such limited local opposition and why is the £8.5 million project necessary at all? Why spend so much money on a project many of us won’t live to witness in its full glory?

The UK, apparently, languishes at the bottom of the European woodland league, with a mere 12 per cent coverage compared to 44 per cent in other parts of the continent. Extricate from this the vast wooded areas in Scotland the comparative poverty of England becomes clear; a poverty not just of aesthetic beauty but of fragile woodland species – 78 of which are thought to on the verge of extinction.

Full story HERE

Plant diseases threaten woodland

They are Phytophthora kernoviae and Phytophthora ramorum.

Rhododendrons, a carrier of both diseases, are likely to be removed in woodland to combat the problem.

The flowering shrubs, popular as an ornamental species in many gardens, also grow wild in wooded areas and an area of the New Forest has already been cordoned off to allow rhododendrons to be cut down and burned.

Phytophthora kernoviae, first found in the south-west of England in 2003, reached Scotland five years later. It attacks and kills many trees and shrubs, including the oak and beech trees which make up so much of Britain's woodlands.

Full story HERE

(The evil Rhododendron, coming to a woodland near you soon)

Sumatran tiger faces extinction as forest habitat shrinks

The Sumatran tiger is in danger of becoming the first major mammal to become extinct in the 21st century, as villagers on the Indonesian island fight a deadly war with the magnificent but ferocious predator.

At least four tigers, and nine people, have been killed in the past month alone, as the shrinking of Sumatra’s already depleted forests brings an increase in attacks on farmers, hunters and illegal loggers.

With fewer than 400 of the creatures estimated to be left in the wild, the Sumatran tiger is classified as critically endangered, the most vulnerable of all the six surviving tiger subspecies.

The fact that several victims of the recent attacks have been devoured by the tigers, which usually have little taste for human flesh, suggests how hungry and desperate they are becoming, as economic exploitation of their habitat confines them in ever smaller and more impoverished patches of jungle.

Full story HERE

The forests of southern Korea yield a prized elixir

HADONG, South Korea: At this time of year, when frogs begin stirring from their winter sleep and woodpeckers drum for newly active insects, villagers climb the hills around here to collect a treasured elixir - sap from the maple tree known as gorosoe.

"It's important to have the right weather," said Park Jeom Sik, 56, toting plastic tubs and a drill up a moss-covered slope. "The temperature should drop below freezing at night and then rise to a warm, bright, windless day. If it's rainy, windy or cloudy, the trees won't give."

For centuries, southern Korean villagers like Park have been tapping the gorosoe, or "tree good for the bones."

Unlike North Americans who collect maple sap to boil down into syrup, Korean villagers and their growing number of customers prefer the sap itself, which they credit with a wide range of health benefits.

In this they are not alone. Some people in Japan and northern China drink maple sap, and birch sap has its fans in Russia and other parts of northern Europe. But no one surpasses southern Koreans in their enthusiasm for sap, which they can consume in prodigious quantities

Full article HERE

One third of Britons cannot identify trees

A third of Britons cannot identify the nation's most famous types of trees, according to a new study.
Researchers found that when it comes to telling the difference between an English oak or a sycamore, many of us are stumped.

One in 20 people questioned could not name any of Britain's common trees.

Even the horse chestnut, which has produced conkers for generations of schoolboys, is a mystery to nearly seven in ten people, said the study by UK firm Forest Holidays.

It took a mixed sample of 250 adults and showed them pictures of 10 of Britain's most popular types of tree and asked them to name them.

Full story HERE

To be honest i suspect it's a lot more than a third.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sometimes crime does pay

Here’s an island prison that’s about as distant in principle from Alcatraz as is it in location. Bastoey Island, about 45 miles south of Oslo, hosts some of Norway’s worst offenders in what is effectively an eco-village working holiday camp. Instead of the traditional barred cells, prisoners, including murderers, rapists, drug dealers and thieves, live in separate, unlocked houses on the island. Although only one and a half miles from the mainland, prisoners are reluctant to escape, lest they get returned to the typical maximum security unit and lose the privilege of serving their time where they’re learning valuable skills, as well as gaining respect for themselves, each other, and the environment.

The island prison uses solar panels, is almost self-sufficient with food from its own organic garden, and operates a strict recycling system. This is an interesting experiment in eco-therapy — where reconnecting offenders with nature may well also help develop a noble sense of purpose, that in turn helps them reconnect with society.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

NightVision Headset Hack

Yet another fire starting trick

Laser Flashlight Hack! - video powered by Metacafe

Rabbit shot with homemade air gun


I have uploaded a txt file containing rapidshare links for loads of survival videos, i felt uncomfortable posting all of the links here so download the txt file and use at your own discretion.
I have already bought all of the listed DVD's so i have not downloaded these, i also didn't upload them just giving you the links.
Txt file HERE

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fela Kuti

I'm stuck in the house today with the dreaded man flu but it gave me the opportunity to watch the Ginger Baker in Africa dvd i bought ages ago. Here's a scene from it.

If you like Fela Kuti be sure to track down this fantastic album Review
Never has there been a more appropriate Red Hot tribute than this one dedicated to the music of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, the Nigerian legend who died from AIDS-related complications in 1997. The artists and groups heard here, nearly 40 all told, cover the musical spectrum: hip-hop (Blackalicious, Roots), jazz (Roy Hargrove, Archie Shepp); soul (Sade, D'Angelo), Afrobeat (Tony Allen, Femi Kuti), world music (Baaba Maal, Jorge Ben), electronic music (Mixmaster Mike, Money Mark) and rock (Nile Rodgers). They have come together to raise money for the 25 million Africans now infected with the AIDS/HIV virus. Red Hot efforts often pair different artists together on the same song, and this album features many once-in-a-lifetime collaborations. Fela's music has been refashioned and mixed together here according to the styles of the artists, rendering several of the 20 songs barely recognisable in comparison with the originals. But such is the strength of Fela's music that even such singular-sounding artists as Macy Gray and Dead Prez get into the Afrobeat spirit of things. --Tad Hendrickson


Also on disk 6 is the Woodabe - Herdsmen of the sun documentary and Lessons of Darkness, both worth tracking down and watching.

Throat Singing

I'm glad this is on youtube, it's from a Werener Herzog short documentary film called Bells From The Deep (on disk 6 of his superb box set HERE).
I find quite funny and fascinating.

The Eagle Rising Digital Library

There's a good collection of self sufficiency and outdoor books over at

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Lanny Henson vid

Lanny Henson has posted another great video on his channel showing you how to make his version of a Alcohol Beverage-Can Stove, go check it HERE

Is there a virgin forest in your neighborhood?

Is there a virgin forest in your neighborhood? - remnants of old-growth forests - includes related article on identifying remnants of virgin forests - Tree Facts.

There may well be, according to this tree-ring researcher, but it probably won't be calendar material.

Some things in the natural world overwhelm you with power and grandeur. If you've stood on the Hurricane Deck beneath the Bridal Veil at Niagara Falls, if you've confronted the full-size African elephant near the front entrance of the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, if you've leaned against the railing and gazed into the Grand Canyon, you know the truth of that statement.

Full article HERE

Activists slam Finnish paper maker for logging 'virgin forest'

HELSINKI (AFP) — Environmental groups on Thursday blasted Finnish paper maker Stora Enso for logging old growth forests in northern Finland, insisting the unique trees should be protected.

Environmental groups Greenpeace, Suomen Luonnonsuojeluliitto and Luonto-Liitto said they had found that some trees more than 300 years old had been logged in Finnish Lapland in the north of the country and shipped to Stora Enso's pulp mill in Oulu.

The logged forests, also known as old growth forests or ancient woodlands, are owned by the Finnish state.

"It is unbelievable that at a time when forestry companies have slashed their production sharply, untouchable forests are logged," Risto Mustonen from Luonto-Liitto said in a statement.

Old growth forests are often home to rare, threatened and endangered species of plants and animals, making them ecologically significant.

Full story HERE

Friday, 20 February 2009

Dersu Uzala

moviemail currently have a Akira Kurosawa sale on and amongst all his classics is his film Dersu Uzala which is only £9.99 and worth every penny so grab yourself a real bargain, you wont regret it. (You also get a free monthly magazine promoting world cinema dvd's and classic films)

Filmed in 70mm on location in the peaceful vastness of the Siberian ice desert, this is one of Kurosawa's most beautiful films as well as a tale of great humanity. It is based on the turn of the century journals of Tsarist officer, Vladimir Arseniev who meets and befriends the hunter Dersu Uzala, who in turn teaches him to survive in the wilderness. An academy award winner from 1975.

Land freed for 1,000 allotments

The National Trust is releasing enough land for up to 1,000 allotments, on some of the most famous country estates in Britain.

The land will be available for individuals or community groups in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The release will be organised through the Landshare website, which matches growers with available land.

Full story HERE

Grizzlies reveal 'fancy footwork

They may look slow and clumsy, but underwater cameras have revealed that grizzly bears can perform some fancy footwork when a meal is on the cards.

A BBC team followed the bears as the annual salmon migration got underway.

They filmed them using their huge feet to deftly kick dead fish from deep pools into shallower water.

This behaviour, caught on camera for the first time, meant that the grizzlies could grab the fish without the bother of getting their ears wet.

Full story with video HERE

Extinct Bird Found, Photographed & Then Eaten

This rare Worcester's buttonquai, thought by scientists to be extinct, was recently photographed in the Philippines by a TV crew and then sold for food at a market. Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman summarizes various news reports on the matter. From Cryptomundo:

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester’s buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago...

Wild Bird Club of the Philippines President Michael Lu asked a question that naturally came to my mind: “What if this was the last of its species?”

He told the Agence France-Press news agency that it’s unfortunate that the locals aren’t more conscious of the threatened wildlife around them.


Climate change threat to woodland

Climate change could be the "last straw" for rare woodlands in the far north of Scotland already damaged by overgrazing animals, it is claimed.

Full story HERE

Plants 'more important than ever'

Plants have never been as important to the environment, the director of Kew Gardens has said, ahead of the London conservation site's 250th anniversary.

Full story HERE

Climate shift 'killing US trees'

Old growth trees in western parts of the US are probably being killed as a result of regional changes to the climate, a study has suggested.

Full story HERE

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Backpack Gourmet PDF

Uploaded a copy of Backpack Gourmet in PDF format, the name should give you an idea what it is about.

Grab it HERE

Rare John 'Lofty' Wiseman Video Recoded

Demonoid Torrent

I posted a link to the rare video HERE but that was a 4.02GB file so some guy has recoded the video to a 600Mb avi file.

This is an AVI (done with xVid codec) of a torrent uploaded here as a PAL DVD

The original file was a video_TS folder about 4 gigs in size and not playable on most American DVD players

The avi rip is just over 600 megs and converted to NTSC.

Many thanks to the original uploader

The original description reads:

"Survival techniques demonstrated by an expert with a 26 year career in the SAS,as a soldier and Survival Instructor.His books are considered a must have for everyone interested in this matter and are quite respected for no nonsense content and instructional value. The image quality is not the best since it was taken from vhs and is a bit old."

Carbon footprints - bringing tracking into the 21st century

This quiz estimates the size of your ecological footprint

The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the area of land and ocean required to support your consumption of food, goods, services, housing, and energy and assimilate your wastes. Your ecological footprint is expressed in "global hectares" (gha) or "global acres" (ga), which are standardized units that take into account the differences in biological productivity of various ecosystems impacted by your consumption activities. Your footprint is broken down into four consumption categories: carbon (home energy use and transportation), food, housing, and goods and services. Your footprint is also broken down into four ecosystem types or biomes: cropland, pastureland, forestland, and marine fisheries.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

iLiKETRAiNS - Terra Nova

Vessels - Yuki

Lascaux - The Prehistory of Art

MVG Torrent

General Information
Arts, History Documentary published by Arte in 1995 (Extra from 1944) - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish Multilanguage narration

Lascaux is the most beautiful and the most lavish of all the adorned prehistoric caves . But is there really such a thing as prehistoric "art" ? Who were the painters of Lascaux ? How to explain the striking stylistic unity of certain clusters, or the contradictions between similar figures that may be painted in different periods?

The images themselves can only astonish and provoke questions. Lascaux furnihes evidence of refined knowledge and skill, which reflect a much more capable and complex prehistoric civilisation that we have yet imagined.

The technology put to use in this film - computer graphics and special effects - facilitates a deeper investigation of the images. While comparing several hypotheses and expounding on the latest theories, the film also provides an encounter with a mythical, unfathomable site that continues to fascinate us.

EXTRA Days long gone The Discovery of the Lascaux caves

A Roger Verdier film

Days long gone was the first film about the discovery of Lascaux by children from the village of Montignac. The village school teacher appears as himself in this short film, shot in 1942.

In the Dordogne of World War II, equipped with candles and pocket torches, the children stumble upon the most fabulous cave paintings of the Old Stone Age. This exeptional and unprecedented document was made a year after the discovery of Lascaux.

Technical Specs

  • Main Movie
    • Video Codec: DivX6
    • Video Bitrate: 1641 kb/s
    • Video Resolution: 624x464 (1.34:1)
    • Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    • Audio Codec: AC3 - 5 language tracks
    • Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s, monophonic CBR 48000 Hz
    • Runtime Per Part: 60 min
    • Part Size: 1,123 MB (or 1,150,806 KB or 1,178,425,620 bytes)
    • Ripped by jvt40
  • Extra
    • Video Codec: DivX6
    • Video Bitrate: 1633 kb/s
    • Video Resolution: 624x464 (1.34:1)
    • Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    • Audio Codec: AC3
    • Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s, monophonic CBR 48000 Hz
    • Language: French
    • Runtime: 12 min
    • Part Size: 150 MB
    • Subtitles: English , German , Italian , Spanish
    • Ripped by jvt40

Stone Age Columbus

MVG Torrent

History Documentary hosted by Jack Fortune and published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC Horizon series in 2002 - English narration

Who were the first people in North America? From where did they come? How did they arrive? The prehistory of the Americas has been widely studied. Over 70 years a consensus became so established that dissenters felt uneasy challenging it. Yet in 2001, genetics, anthropology and a few shards of flint combined to overturn the accepted facts and to push back one of the greatest technological changes that the Americas have ever seen by over five millennia.

The accepted version of the first Americans starts with a flint spearhead unearthed at Clovis, New Mexico, in 1933. Dated by the mammoth skeleton it lay beside to 11,500 years ago (11.5kya), it was distinctive because it had two faces, where flakes had been knapped away from a core flint. The find sparked a wave of similar reports, all dating from around the same period. There seemed to be nothing human before Clovis. Whoever those incomers were around 9,500BC, they appeared to have had a clean start. And the Clovis point was their icon - across 48 states.

"The best way to get beaten up, professionally, is to claim you have a pre-Clovis site"

Michael Collins, University of Texas

An icon that was supremely effective: the introduction of the innovative spearpoint coincided with a mass extinction of the continent's megafauna. Not only the mammoth, but the giant armadillo, giant sloth and great black bear all disappeared soon after the Clovis point - and the hunters who used it - arrived on the scene.

But from where? With temperatures much colder than today and substantial polar ice sheets, sea levels were much lower. Asia and America were connected by a land bridge where now there's the open water of the Bering Strait. The traditional view of American prehistory was that Clovis people travelled by land from Asia.

This version was so accepted that few archaeologists even bothered to look for artefacts from periods before 10,000BC. But when Jim Adavasio continued to dig below the Clovis layer at his dig near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he found blades and blade cores dating back to 16,000BC. His findings were dismissed as erroneous; too astonishing to be credible. The Clovis consensus had too many reputations behind it to evaporate easily. Some archaeologists who backed Adavasio's conclusions with other similar data were accused of making radiocarbon dating errors or even of planting finds.

"The first migration was 20,000 to 30,000 years ago"

Douglas Wallace, Emory University

Decisive evidence would have to come from an independent arena. Douglas Wallace studies mitochondrial DNA, part of the human chromosomes that is passed unchanged from mother to daughter. It only varies when mistakes occur in the replication of the genetic code. Conveniently for Wallace's work (piecing together a global history of migration of native peoples) these mistakes crop up at a quite regular rate. The technique has allowed Wallace to map the geographical ancestry of all the Native American peoples back to Siberia and northeast Asia.

The route of the Clovis hypothesis was right. The date, however, was wrong - out by up to 20,000 years. Wallace's migration history showed waves of incomers. The Clovis people were clearly not the first humans to set foot across North America.

Dennis Stanford went back to first principles to investigate Clovis afresh, looking at tools from the period along the route Clovis was assumed to have taken from Siberia via the Bering Strait to Alaska. The large bifaced Clovis point was not in the archaeological record. Instead the tools used microblades, numerous small flint flakes lined up along the spear shaft to make its head.

Wallace's DNA work suggested migration from Asia to America but the Clovis trail contradicted it. Bruce Bradley stepped in to help solve this dichotomy, bringing with him one particular skill: flintknapping and the ability to read flint tools for their most intimate secrets.

He spotted the similarity in production method between the Clovis point and tools made by the Solutrean neolithic (Stone Age) culture in southwest France. At this stage his idea was pure hypothesis, but could the first Americans have been European?

The Solutreans were a remarkably society, the most innovative and adaptive of the time. They were among the first to discover the value of heat treating flints to increase strength. Bradley was keen to discover if Solutrean flintknapping styles matched Clovis techniques. A trawl through the unattractive flint offcuts in the storerooms of a French museum convinced him of the similarities, even though five thousand kilometres lay between their territories.

The divide was more than just distance; it crossed five thousand years as well. No matter the similarities between the two cultures, the possibility of a parallel technology developing by chance would have to be considered. More evidence emerged from an archaeological dig in Cactus Hill, Virginia. A bifaced flint point found there was dated to 16kya, far older than Clovis. Even more startling was its style. To flintknapper Bruce Bradley's eye, the Cactus Hill flint was a technological midpoint between the French Solutrean style and the Clovis points dating five millennia later. It seemed there is no great divide in time. The Solutrean flint methods evolved into Clovis.

"[Stone Age] people crossing the Atlantic would be perfectly normal from my [Eskimo] perspective"

Ronald Brower, Inupiat Heritage Center, Barrow, Alaska

If time could be discounted, Bradley's critics pointed to an obstacle that was hardly going to go away: crossing the Atlantic Ocean in small open boats. How could Stone Age people have made such an epic journey, especially when the Ice Age maximum would have filled the Atlantic with icebergs.

Dennis Stanford returned to his earlier hunch, looking for clues among the Arctic Eskimo peoples. Despite the influx of modern technologies, he was heartened to discover that traditional techniques endured. Clothing makers in Barrow, Alaska, recognised some Solutrean bone needles he showed them as typical of their own. The caribou skin clothing the Inuit still choose to wear could equally have been made by people in 16,000BC. And for Eskimo peoples the Arctic is not a desert - but a source of plentiful sea food. If the Solutreans had the Clovis point it would have made a formidable harpoon weapon to ensure a food supply. Would modern Eskimo ever consider a five thousand kilometre journey across the Atlantic?

The answer it seems is yes - they have undertaken similar journeys many times.. Most encouraging was the realisation that Inuit people today rely on traditional boat building techniques. 'Unbreakable' plastic breaks in the unceasing cold temperatures whereas boats of wood, sealskin and whale oil are resilient and easily maintained. The same materials would have been available to Solutrean boat builders. Even if the Stone Age Europeans could make those boats, would it survive an Atlantic crossing?

"DNA lineage predominantly found in Europe got to the Great Lakes, 14,000 to 15,000 years ago"

Douglas Wallace, Emory University

Stanford believes the boats' flimsiness is deceptive. With the Atlantic full of ice floes it would be quite possible for paddlers in open boats to travel along the edges, always having a safe place to haul out upon if the weather turned in.

All this evidence was still essentially circumstantial, making the Solutrean adventure possible not proven. Douglas Wallace's DNA history bore fruit once more. In the DNA profile of the Ichigua Native American tribe he identified a lineage that was clearly European in origin, too old to be due to genetic mixing since Columbus' discovery of the New World. Instead it dated to Solutrean times. Wallace's genetic timelines show the Ice Age prompted a number of migrations from Europe to America. It looks highly likely that the Solutreans were one.

The impact of this new prehistory on Native Americans could be grave. They usually consider themselves to be Asian in origin; and to have been subjugated by Europeans after 1492. If they too were partly Europeans, the dividing lines would be instantly blurred. Dr Joallyn Archambault of the American Indian Programme of the Smithsonian Institute offers a positive interpretation, however. Venturing across huge bodies of water, she says, is a clear demonstration of the courage and creativity of the Native Americans' ancestors. Bruce Bradley agrees. He feels his Solutrean Ice Age theory takes into consideration the abilities of people to embrace new places, adding, "To ignore this possibility ignores the humanity of people 20,000 years ago."

Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: DivX 5.0
  • Video Bitrate: ~1000 kB/s
  • Video Resolution: 640x480
  • Audio Codec: MP3
  • Audio Bitrate: 96 kb/s 44100Hz
  • RunTime Per Part: ~49 min.
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: ~350 MB
  • Subtitles: English
  • Ripped by digital distractions

America's Stone Age Explorers (2004)

MVG Torrent

Original PBS Broadcast Date: November 9, 2004

Ever since unusually ancient and deadly spear points were found near Clovis, New Mexico in the 1930s, many archeologists have believed that this type of weapon originated with the first settlers of the New World, who supposedly migrated from Asia at the end of the last ice age. In "America's Stone Age Explorers," NOVA reports new evidence that challenges this widely held view.

The hunt for clues takes NOVA to sites of stunning discoveries in western Pennsylvania and southern Chile; to southern France, where Stone Age artifacts have been found that resemble the famous Clovis points; to the high arctic to learn the techniques that may have been used to cross the ice-encrusted Atlantic 17,000 years before Columbus; and to a remarkable find in central Texas that may hold the key to who invented the Clovis technology.

The distinctive design of a Clovis point (see The Fenn Cache) is perfect for killing big game, making it a Stone Age weapon of mass destruction. The Clovis point may even have been behind the extinction of large ice age mammals such as the mammoth (see End of the Big Beasts). Clovis points have been found at archeological sites throughout North America, and for decades these sites represented the oldest accepted evidence of human presence in the New World.

Many archeologists therefore concluded that hunters equipped with Clovis technology were the first settlers of the Americas and that they probably arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age about 13,500 years ago, when lower sea level allowed hunters to cross a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska. But there is growing evidence that humans were in the Americas long before the Clovis hunters (see Before Clovis).

One of the best known of the possibly pre-Clovis sites is called Meadowcroft, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, Jim Adovasio of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute has been excavating artefacts well below the geological layer that corresponds to the Clovis period, although many archaeologists dispute his evidence. "A lot of people ... think that this is not only a repudiation of a well-accepted dogma, it's a repudiation of themselves," Adovasio says.

Another promising pre-Clovis dig is Monte Verde in southern Chile, where archaeologist Tom Dillehay, formerly of the University of Kentucky, has made an unusually rich find half a world away from the Asian land bridge route. Also joining the debate are scientists using DNA analysis of current populations of Native Americans to look for clues of their ancestry—again with intriguing but controversial results.

One team even proposes that the first Americans came from Europe, not Asia, based on the similarity of Clovis points to the weapons of the Solutreans, who lived about 17,000 years ago in what is now southern France and northern Spain. If the Solutreans ever crossed the Atlantic, they may have traveled like today's Eskimos, who make long journeys skirting ice floes in watertight skin boats, hunting arctic game as they go.

Archaeologist Michael Collins of the University of Texas at Austin has an even more startling theory. The theory is based on his excavations at Gault, Texas, which show evidence of a more complex Clovis culture than ever imagined, including a diet that spans the food chain, evidence of a sophisticated trade network, hundreds of types of tools, and possibly the earliest example of art in the Americas.

"Where did Clovis come from?" asks Collins. "The longstanding notion of the rapid spread of Clovis across the continent has been taken to mean the spread of a people across the continent. An alternative might be that the spread of Clovis is actually the expansion of a technology across existing populations—analogous to the fact you can go anywhere in the world and find people driving John Deere tractors."

In other words, the Clovis point could be the first technological breakthrough in the Americas, invented by people who had long been resident here—and then adopted by their neighbours, who knew a good thing when they saw it.

Oskar Speck - The last true great adventurer?

A couple of friends of mine are canoeing from Wales to Ireland in the summer which reminded me of the incredible journey of Oskar Speck who paddled in a folding kayak from Germany to Australia by himself with no support in 1932. He left Germany to head for Egypt to find work but later changed his mind on the way and decided to go see the world. He travelled 50,000 kilometers and after 7 years and 4 months in 1939 he finaly arrived on an Australian Island where he was instantly arrested as a suspected enemy foreigner but his story didn't end there.

His equipment consisted of a compass, two small sails and a paddle. He apparently headed for Australia goaded by comments that he hadn't tackled a 'real' ocean crossing.

They all clung to me like leeches. Strong hands clutched my hair. With the strength of despair I tore one hand free from them and strove to pull the hands from my throat. My clothing — I wore only a sarong in those tropic nights—was torn off in the struggle. With strips of dried buffalo hide some of them tied my legs and hands, while others looted the kayak. By the hair, they dragged my trussed body some yards across the sand. They constantly kicked me. They picked me up, carried me a short distance, then dropped me a few yards from the water. To understand the terror of my position, naked and bound as I was, you must understand the ecstatic frenzy of those natives. They were used to the white man as master. Here was a white man in their power—and they were drunk with that power. Sometimes a gibbering, ecstatic native would hold his gleaming machete only a few millimetres from my throat. It was clear what he wanted to do.

You can read his full amazing story in his own words HERE. Part2 Part3


I believe there is one or two documentaries made about him but i think they were Australian and now sit in some archive down under. I'm very surprised that there has been nothing done by the BBC on him.

What an incredible man! What an incredible journey! What an incredible story! A real "Boy's Own" which deserves to be told and retold a thousand times - which is exactly what I hope to achieve by telling you about it.

HD Bundy's Last Great Adventure (2001)

Demonoid Torrent

Movies : Documentary : HD 720p : English

Bundy's Last Great Adventure (2001)


Bundy's Last Great Adventure follows the out-of-retirement journey of a 2-foot gauge locomotive (popularly called 'Puffing Billys') from its current home at the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Woodford over 2,000 kilometers of track to the banks of the Daintree River in Far North Queensland, Australia.

Shot in stunningly beautiful countryside in tropical North Queensland, from the sub-tropics in the south to the lush tropical wilderness of Far North Queensland this 'tiny-but-tough' loco journeys through breathtakingly beautiful locations that are truly world-class. Spectacular landscapes, amazing wildlife, rural lifestyles and some outrageous characters, and of course it's not short of a yarn or two. In the mist-shrouded mountains, rare rain-forest birds cry out all around us. The scenery we encounter is amongst the most beautiful on earth, and includes World Heritage rainforest, waterfalls, mountains, tropical jungle, and wildlife found nowhere else in the world. We take time off to explore as much of it as we can.

This is 'Bundy' country!

'Bundy' is a small, cantankerous steam locomotive, which was built in 1951 in the Bundaberg Foundry, and served as a 'sugar-train', hauling cane from farm to mill. Years ago, when Australia's sugarcane industry retired the last of the small steam trains known as Puffing Billys that should have been the end of it. But something about those cranky, independent- minded iron beasts, especially one called Bundy, got right under the skin of a small group of cane-train enthusiasts - members of a locomotive preservation museum.

And now they're back to fulfill a dream.

Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 (2-pass) MPEG-4 AVC
Custom Matrix: Yes (Prestige)
Average QP: I=18.41, P=20.43 & B=22.13
Video Bitrate: 6000 KB/s
Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Video Resolution: 1280 x 720
Audio Codec: AAC
Audio BitRate: 192 KB/s 48KHz
Audio Channels: 2 Ch
RunTime: 00:43
Framerate: 25 FPS
Number Of Parts: 1
Part Size: 1.85GB
Encoded by gavin63
Subtitles: No TV Cap
Source: HDTV

Release Notes

* This is x264 codec and HDTV so not compatible with stand alone DVD divx players
* I recommend using VLC or Media Player Classic for playback
* There is a little blocking in a few scenes tried 3 separate encodes with different settings