Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Colony

How'd I miss this new reality TV show? Might have something to do with not watching TV. From the Colony website:

What would you do in the wake of a global catastrophe? How would you find food? Water? Shelter?

The Colony is a controlled experiment to see exactly what it would take to survive and rebuild under these circumstances. For 10 weeks, a group of 10 volunteers, whose backgrounds and expertise represent a cross-section of modern society, are isolated in an urban environment outside Los Angeles and tasked with creating a livable society.

With no electricity from the grid, no running water and no communication with the outside world, all the volunteers have to work with are their skills and whatever tools and supplies they can scavenge from their surroundings.

Experts from the fields of homeland security, engineering and psychology have helped design the world of The Colony to reflect elements from both real-life disasters and models of what the future could look like after a global viral outbreak.

Over the course of the 10-week experiment, the Colonists must work together to build the necessities of survival, such as a water-filtration system, a battery bank that powered their electricity, a solar cooker, a shower system and a greenhouse – and even some niceties (a coffee maker!).

Tune in Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT to see who thrives and who fails to survive.

I'll have to check this out...

Knife, pig

Another little tidbit to keep us warm. Xavier Rosset kept himself alive for 300 days on an isolated tropical island with nothing but a knife and a machete. By the end, it sounds like he might have even been a bit bored. That gives me hope that life will not be impossibly hard without all our modern conveniences.

Man survives 300 days with knife, pig via Neatorama

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lights out on plants

A bit of good news in case the world is shrouded in darkness by a cloud of dust and ash. The plants might survive!
The results show that, contrary to common belief, catastrophic darkness does not completely destroy phototrophic organisms, says Cockell. "The photosynthetic biosphere is much more robust than generally assumed."

Survival in a post-apocalypse blackout [New Scientist]

Scenes from shelters

Photographs of fallout shelters and other various kinds of emergency shelters from around the world.

Picture Show: Waiting for the End of the World [GOOD Magazine via io9]

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Post Apocalyptic Movie Roundup

Here's a good roundup of some better PA movies. There are several that I haven't seen yet. I'm particularly interested in La Jetée, the inspiration for the movie 12 Monkeys. I felt like the world in 12 Monkeys could have been explored much more.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Billion year data storage

One of my biggest worries about any potential apocalypse is that huge amounts of human knowledge will be destroyed or lost within a few decades, from simple stuff like how to make concrete to more advanced topics like psychology and astrophysics. I've considered things like paying for data to be etched into metal, like the Rosetta Project, but the amount of data you can store is really limited. But when I see something like this method for storing data indefinitely in carbon nanotubes, I get all excited.

I think that several caches of the contents of the Library of Congress (and other similarly encompassing storehouses of knowledge) should be scattered across the world. Embed these knowledge chips in national monuments and important locations likely to survive apocalyptic disasters - Mt. Rushmore, Stonehenge, the Washington Monument, and so on. Ideally, the more chips there are the better. If there's one in every home, we'd be able to retrieve one eventually. I'd also put a cache on the moon with a huge arrow pointing at it, visible from the earth.

Via Wired.

Friday, May 29, 2009