In just over two weeks I get to help excavate a cholera cemetery @[email protected] its been so long I miss getting dirty, and I need experience with human remains.
I’m not going to post pictures of the remains unless I get express permission, and I will always post warnings for human remains if I do. The remains are white european descent from the mid 1800s.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything in particular you want me to talk about.
For visitors and writers alike.
- You were never meant to be here. Never forget this. You are an ape of the equator, built to run the savannah and swim in tropical waters. Whatever terms and conditions your body has, they are void here. Mother nature never certified to function in a Death World.
- Enduring the cold is never a matter of “how much” as much at it is “how long”. Think of it as the water levels of the vieogames you have played. No matter what equipment enables you to remain longer, you can’t stay there indefinitely. The coat that keeps you warm and toasty for three hours in -15 is enough to keep you functional for an hour of -40.
- Whatever the locals say, listen to them. Err to the side of caution if you must. You may not endure what they can endure, but you SURE AS FUCKING NOT cannot survive what they say cannot be endured.
- That being said, alcohol is a filthy fucking liar and so is anyone who offers it to you. The warmth it gives is an illusion, and a sign of damage. You are worse off feeling comfortable with a mouthful of whiskey as you are freezing your gonads off stone cold sober.
- Winter tires. Studded winter tiers are a MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH when you drive on a frozen road. That being said, whatever the locals tell you that your car will need to run as theirs do, take it. Taking the risk of being pranked is worth survival, and you can always stab their tires in the spring if they were shitting you.
- Eat. For the love of god, make sure that you eat. Heavier meals might be unpalatable at first for someone used to lighter nutrition, but maintaining bodily warmth in a cold climate takes up a lot of energy, and you will feel tired and drowsy for a long while shile your metabolism adjusts to producing more heat than Mother Nature ever intended. The skinny people in your party are especially vulnerable, ensure their well-being on a regular basis.
- If you have a smartphone/other essential technology on your body, keep them close to your body to keep them warm. They were not designed to be frozen any more than you were.
- Sleep is death. SLEEP IS DEATH. Never, ever stop to rest in the cold, if you do not have the means to make a fire/otherwise produce heat. The cold tires you out because keeping warm takes energy, but taking a rest will not return your energy. If you feel the need to sit down and rest because you are tired because of the cold, call for help. This is not a hyperbole, if you feel like you are too tired to go on in a cold climate, CALL A FUCKING AMBULANCE. If you fall asleep in the snow, you will notwake up. Hypothermia can and will literally kill you.
- Avoid skin-to-snow-contact if you can. It hurts because you were not supposed to do it. Consider ice to be like acid. Touching is bad for you.
Feel free to add to the list if you feel like I missed something.
Some things to add from a native northerner moved south who’s surrounded by people who know fuck-all about harsh winter weather:
- If you are expecting severe weather that might take out your electricity, and you can afford a generator, GET ONE. They aren’t terribly cheap but you can find one in the $400-500 range at Home Depot or any other store like it really.
- Gas up your car. Seriously. If your power goes out and you need to move because your current residence is in the sub-fucking-zeros you need to have fuel to get where your going. Not only that but even IF you don’t have anywhere to go, sitting in a car with the heat running is much better than freezing your ass to death in your house.
- Stock up on water bottles and canned goods. You will need both if you get snowed in. Eating is absolutely essential to staying alive, because as OP stated, keeping warm burns a LOT of calories.
- If you have time before the storm hits, buy some good, thick blankets. Wool or fleece are your two best bets. Hell, if you can’t find a good place to get blankets, go to Walmart and buy straight up fabric. The more, the better.
- If you have a pet reptile, and the power goes out and the temperature inside your house is very cold, don’t feed them, and don’t leave them in their tank. Take them out, put them on your chest, and wrap yourself in a blanket with them. The best way at this point to keep them alive will be to share the body heat you have.
- Bring your pets inside. Yes, I’m looking at you, Nancy with the “outdoor cat”. Their cute little toe beans will freeze the fuck off and they’ll die of hypothermia. I don’t care if your 300 pound Tibetan Mastiff isn’t housebroken, unless you wanna explain to your 2-year old why Captain Fluffball is frozen to your front porch, bring him in.
- If you have a fireplace, utilize it, but don’t set a fire inside your house that you can’t control. And don’t use fucking gasoline. That’s how you blow shit up.
- If you’re stuck out in the cold and you start to feel tired and strangely warm, you have hypothermia. Get the fuck to a place with actual warmth. Leave your clothes on. The cold is lying to you. You’re not hot, you’re slowly freezing to death. If you can, call a fucking ambulance.
- Remember that extremities freeze first. That means your toes, your nose, and your fingers. Layer the fuck UP. If I have to go out in the snow, I usually wear a pair of knit/fleece gloves under a pair of snow gloves. And then I duct-tape that shit to the sleeves of my coat. It looks silly but it keeps moisture from getting stuck in there and freezing my hands off. For shoes, wear boots and like, 3 pairs of socks. The warmer and fuzzier, the better. Your feet will thank you. If you have a ski mask, use it. If not, wear a scarf and wrap that shit as tight around your face as you can.
- On the topic of moisture, if any part of you gets wet while you’re outside, locate the nearest warm place you can go to and take the wet garment off and dry that shit. I don’t care if it’s your socks, your shirt, or your undies. Get em off and get em dry. Wet clothes are a fast way to get yourself frozen to death.
- If you absolutely need to do shit outside, velcro or duct tape your gloves and boots to your sleeves and pants. I know it will limit your movements a bit. I know that it will look stupid. I know it will be hard to get off. But duct tape doesn’t let SHIT through it. And as I’ve mentioned before, you don’t want ANYTHING you’re wearing to get wet.
- If you do have a portable heater or fire or heat in your home or whatever, have a fan blowing too. It will spread the warm air around faster. It might not feel warm at first, but it’s circulating the air. It will heat up eventually.
- If you’re with other people, huddle up with them. Share your body warmth. Have a nice cuddle session with your friends/family/neighbors. It might just save you.
- IF A CHILD IS IN THE SNOW, THEY WILL FREEZE A WHOLE FUCKIN LOT FASTER THAN YOU WILL. This doesn’t mean be chivalrous and give them your coat. It means you pick their tiny ass up and shove them IN your coat or hold them as close as you can while you try to get to a warmer area. The smaller they are, the faster they freeze. Time is absolutely critical. And if your kid is out in the snow, you need to be out there with them and keep your eyes on them at all times.
- Finally, invest in a blow dryer. If your hair gets wet and you gotta go back out in the cold, you’re going to be miserable as fuck. Blow dry your hair so it can be nice, warm, and voluminous when you go back out to punch Jack Frost in the face.
(I’ve been reading so many posts about earth being Space Australia the Death World that I didn’t even notice there weren’t aliens in this one until my third read-through, so I’m counting it for the blog theme.)
A few further points from me, having grown up in Canada’s coldest major city:
- The wind can be even more dangerous than the cold, and if your skin is exposed to it, it can freeze and even necrotise. Frostbite is a serious medical problem. So bundle up; wear a touque, wear your hood up, wear a balaclava or hike your scarf up over your nose because you could lose it otherwise. If the wind gets in your face, walk backwards. That’s not a prank; walk backwards.
- If it’s really cold, your gloves aren’t going to do shit; you’ll want mittens and handwarmers. It’s not convenient but at least you won’t be dropping fingercicles on the frozen pavement.
- There is no such thing as winter chic. Not in a place with a real winter. You’re going to look like a bundle of cloth if you dress properly anyways, so there’s no sense in trying to be stylish about it. There is no fashionable/unfashionable, there’s only practical/impractical
- Get a block heater for your car; if you come from a cold place, it’s probably standard equipment.
If you fall through ice into frozen water and can’t climb out, allow yourself to freeze to the ice - someone might see you and save you, even if you pass out.
Snow is a great insulator and if you need to, you can build shelter out of it. A quinzee is fastest. It can keep you alive if you are lost.
PUT A SHOVEL IN YOUR CAR.
PUT AN EMERGENCY WINTER SUPPLY KIT IN YOUR CAR.
In a blizzard, do not travel. I know you’d rather be home than stuck at work overnight. But low visibility in a blizzard is not the same as low visibility in fog. You can get easily twisted around in areas that you know like the back of your hand, and no one will be able to see you to help you if you need it. Do not travel in blizzards.
Related to this: the normal rules do not apply in the cold. You can knock on a stranger’s door for help; you can take strangers in to warm up. You can approach a stranger in the cold and offer them rides if they look like they need help. Children should know that if forced to choose “talking to strangers to ask for help” and “freezing to death,” they are to choose “talking to strangers.”
If you ARE too warm in your many layers, but it is still deathly cold out, DO NOT unzip your coat. Lowering the temperature of your core is dangerous. You can easily cool down by removing a mitt or glove. You can lose fingers and toes if your extremities aren’t protected, but if your core gets too cold you can die.
Do not go ANYWHERE without appropriate winter gear, even if you think it’ll only be a quick jaunt from here to there. You never know when your car will break down or get stuck. You need that coat.
Don’t leave either your children or your pets in your car while you go into a store, or my god what is WRONG with you?
Everyone who has grown up in a cold climate knows what it feels like to be so cold you can’t bend your fingers or feel your face, knows what it’s like to be so cold that touching anything warm burns, to be so cold it takes hours to warm up, to be genuinely worried that they’ll lose their fingers or toes.
No one will judge you for being so cold you start crying only to have your eyelashes freeze together. We’ve all been there. We will help.
Fun fact - after moving to a much colder area I’ve gained 6 kilos. Skinny people can and will store additional fat - it’s to help them survive after changing climate zones. If you are moving to another climate area (namely, colder climate area), invest in a better wardrobe. Boots with thick sole. In Russia we have valenki and we wear woolen socks underneath
Wool is your friend. The fluffier the better. The more fluff the better insulation. Skiing clothes are also a good help, especially coupled with other layers and wool. And, oh! If you can, get one of those:
Woolen shawls like these ones are usually handmade, so as to preserve the fluff, and they are wonderful for heat insulation. You can use one for yourself, you can bundle up your kid, and it’s gonna be warm and snug. Like, I wore one when we hit a -30C streak a while ago, and it was nice.
GUARD YOUR HIPS! I mean, it’s pretty easy to bundle up your torso, but your hips and thighs and knees… Yep. Not so much. If you have some woolen kneewarmers for arthritis, or you can procure some for yourself - do it.
Okay wear does one acquire such a shawl because I a) need that for aesthetic reasons and b) it’s so fucken cold in my house help
(Google tells me that this is an Orenburg Shawl)
The reason wool is great is because it stays warm when wet, polar fleece does too but never seems as toasty.
If you allergic to wool and can afford it get silk long underwear and sock/glove liners and wear them under woolens. If you can’t afford it try to find a cheaper alternative. Also figure out which kind of wool you are least reactive to because even with a base layer you are going to get itchy.
Back to pets: if you have fish and the power goes out cover the tank with space and wool blankets right away. Every once in a while check the temp, if it is falling below ideal scoop out some of the water and warm it over a camp stove, not too hot, then gently pour the water back in. This will also help aerate the tank a little. plus it gives you something to do if you’re bored.
Also, if you know the powers is likely to go out you should fill the tub/buckets with as much water as you can. You can boil it for warm drinks and bucket flush the toilet, which you’re going to want.
Edited to add: this is no joke. My cousin’s friend fell asleep in his car a couple winters back and froze to death. It happens. Be safe.
I have had several friends move to Canada and not realize that you can lose fingers.
Also, if it doesn’t look like you gained 30 pounds its not a winter coat.
Canadian here: A good winter coat isn’t necessarily “you gained 30 lbs” unless you’re north of the tree line, but that’s a good guideline. Personally I swear by military-issue wool trenchcoats as a nice combination of thin, flexible, full-coverage, water-tolerant (and mildly resistant), warm, and usable in the summer - but keep in mind that we bottom out at -20 here in a typical winter. (Our big problem is that it’s wet andwindy.)
A few tiny details I can add:
- When shopping for a coat, check the fastenings (zipper, buttonholes, etc) for a cover flap that can be anchored in place (on a zipper, generally by velcroing to the other side of the zipper; on my trenchcoat it’s sewn over the buttons). Even if it looks like a good coat otherwise, this is a dealbreaker - without it, the wind will stab you directly in the chest with a thousand needles at the slightest provocation.
- That thing above about the blow drier? Downplays how miserable wet hair is. It will freeze. Into icicles. Directly on your neck/face. And insult to injury, you will lose hair if and when you break one.
- Get a backup battery for your phone. When traveling, keep it in a pocket against your body. Your phone is your only lifeline in an emergency, when you need help you will need it now, and cold eats batteries for breakfast. Having a warm battery can make the difference.
- Do not drive faster than the locals, unless you have no particular will to live. Ever. Of particular note, 4WD/AWD doesn’t make a single fucking bit of difference on ice. Every year in my area a couple people get killed because they forgot that.
- On a related note: If you have to drive in the snow, your instinct will be to follow the tracks of the last guy. This is generally good advice - in most snow conditions it will improve traction - but be careful. There have been a few times I almost followed someone’s tracks right into their accident.
- Layer with different materials. Wool is a great insulator, but knit wool in particular is extremely porous; you want something tighter either below or above it.
- Do not cross running water without a bridge, or still water without an experienced guide or a clear manmade trail. (Do not drive across a body of water period. This is an advanced skill, and failing will kill you. You are not a local.) You’d think this would be obvious, but every year when I lived in Truro at least one person would get to watch their car floating away on an ice floe - if they were lucky.
The Norwegian Mountain Code is a short list of basic rules to follow when TRAVELLING IN HARSH, COLD TERRAIN.
If you need to take a rest while out and there is deep snow, MAKE A SNOW CAVE. Snow is airy. It will insulate. Make sure the entry is BELOW THE SPACE WHERE YOU WILL REST as warm air travels upwards. The smaller the cave, the less air for you to lose body heat to. MARK THE CAVE with skis, branches, anything tall. Call for help. It helps to know where you are - a GPS is useful, your phone will do.
BRING THE SHOVEL INSIDE. You might need to re-open the entrance if it’s windy. You can always use your skis to dig a cave if needed be.
You can make a sitting/laying place inside the snow cave from twigs or branches to avoid contact with the snow.
When dressing, ALWAYS layer:
- innermost layer is wool. Always.
- outermost layer waterproof. Windproof inside of that one.
- remember that clothes will not keep you warm. AIR KEEPS YOU WARM. Make sure your layers are not too tight - you want your clothes to TRAP AIR between you and the environment to minimise heat loss.
Re-emphasizing the ‘Cold Sucks The Life Out of your Battery’ - I don’t know how many times my car battery died due to the bitter cold. Like, it just went ‘nope, too cold’ and refused to start my car.
My friend has to go take pictures for work, even in the winter - She makes sure to have her phone plugged into an external battery tucked inside her bra, cord strung through her coat sleeve, because her phone battery alone goes from ‘100%’ charged to ‘10% charged, plug in!’ with zero apps running, in less than a half hour. I have watched it happen. Warmth saves your batteries. cold kills it.
ALSO: WOOL, NOT COTTON! Wool wicks water away from your skin, and stays warm even when wet. Cotton will hold that soggy foot sweat right to your skin, and suck all your heat away. Tends to give you boot blisters faster, too. That cotton T-shirt getting sweaty is going to drop your core heat fast af if you open your coat.
I want to reiterate what was mentioned upthread that if you can afford silk, it’s an excellent base layer. Knitters, you know that luxurious single skein you have of fuzzy lightweight silk or silkpaca or even (dreamy sigh) qiviut? Knit a smoke ring cowl that you can pull up over your face. I have one (“pretty thing” by the yarn harlot) made of handspun silk mawata that I always wear under my other scarves when I go out on cold days.
And to those of you in love with that Orenburg shawl … either learn to knit or make a knitter fall madly in love with you. Those take forever to knit and you can buy them but you pay through the nose.
Keep cat litter or sand in the trunk/bed of your vehicle. It will act as ballast and help keep skidding around on icy roads down and if you get stuck, it can act as traction. Cat littler (cheap ass clay litter) is usually easier to get and is probably cheaper.
KEEP THE GAS TANK FILLED! I’m serious. The gas line in your car can and will collect moisture–which freezes.
Thirding or whatever the wool and silk. Preferably wool if you can tolerate it. It breathes and a good wool sweater like a Gansey (doesn’t have to be bloo) or a Lopi will stay warm no matter how wet it gets. Tip: If it’s made by an animal it will probably keep you warm. Plant and man made? Not so much. (Acrylic is warmer than cotton, though)
Knitters, make a calorimetery. If will save your ears. Speaking of–DO NOT WEAR dangly earrings. If you can manage it, no earrings at all.
If push comes to shove (and I have done this), panty hose under your pants will help keep you a bit warmer than without. I was able to shovel a driveway with over a foot of snow with some on under my jeans.
Shoveling? If you can start early. Snow is fucking heavy. Don’t stay out trying to get it all done at once. An hour’s work is better than nothing. Better yet, get a damned snow blower if you can. If you can’t, get a shovel made for snow–they usually have wide heads, and a shallow angle.
Hate scarves because they don’t stay one? PUT IN ON BEFORE THE COAT AND ZIP THAT FUCKER UP. Or invest in cowls–tubes you wear around your neck. They stay put when you futz around in the cold.
When it comes to knits (hand knits especially), the denser isn’t alway better. Lace, brioche, and some other types are warm because of the holes or the way it’s made. Those gaps? tend to trap air.
If I ever find out who packed these float samples we are gonna have words like there is so much missing provenience data and the bags aren’t tied that well, I have had to retie every single bag. Of at least 20 float samples. With no end in sight. Like I see bag 2 of 2 on a label with barely anything else and think ok, maybe the rest of the information is on bag 1. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
all bugs can be organized into one of three categories: homies, chillers, and haters. hornets and wasps are haters. mosquitos are haters. most spiders are homies cuz they eat shitty bugs, some spiders are chillers cuz they dont really do anything, but also some spiders are haters because they’ll kill you. learn to tell the difference. bees are homies but they become haters if you fuck with them. most beetles are chillers but if they’re the kind of beetle that flies really fast at your face then they’re haters.
The language of academia can be so fucking pretentious and elitist. You can’t write a critical paper about people that won’t even understand what you’re trying to say. Plus, the need to make something that supposed to educate and facilitate the exchange of ideas, so complex and complicated to understand is ridiculous. If someone, as a scholar cannot break down complex ideologies and theories into a form that the average person can understand then what the fuck are you doing, honestly? Academia is not about a continuous circle-jerk with your PhD buddies. It’s about exchanging ideas and reaching people, from all walks of life and background. The world is bigger than people with JSTOR memberships.
The DAPL news is definitely something to be proud of but don’t think that the work is done. Jan Hasselman, who serves as an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said that the Energy Transfer Partners can still sue this decision, and Trump can try to overturn it. This is a lengthy process that will takes years (with a better explanation why below) and we need to watch it as decisions are made. Remember the pipeline is still being built and it’s going somewhere.
[Text reads: I do admin law for a living so let me explain how this corps decision plays out. The refusal to grant the easement stop the pipelines… for now. Trump could easily reverse it. But, the decision to order an EIS delays the pipeline for at least several years. If Trump orders the corps to stop the EIS process, several groups will sue, arguing that the reversal is arbitrary and capricious. And they will likely win, which means the EIS will be completed. That takes 2+ years. If the EIS ultimately recommends the same of similar route, several groups will sue, delaying it for 2+ more years. 1 year for suit in federal court, and 2 more year for appeal. Bottom line: decision to order an EIS that Trump probably cannot force a pipeline through same/similar route for 4+ years.]
We also have to remember that many water protectors are still going to be needing help with medical and legal funds so keep an eye out how to still help.
Stay as calm as possible, call medical services (911, etc), and get to a hospital. Try to avoid movement of the bite area and remove any tight fitting clothing or jewelry.
Do not try to catch/kill the snake for identification purposes. If you are in the US all you need to know is whether or not it was a coral snake (which is very easy to tell). All other venomous snakes in the US are pit vipers and the same antivenin is used for all pit vipers. Having an idea of the species may be useful in determining the severity of the bite so take pictures (from a distance) if you can safely/easily do so, but continuing to antagonize the snake only makes it more likely that someone else will be bitten.
Do not cut at the wound site or try to suck the venom out. The likelihood of you actually getting the venom out is very small and cutting/sucking may agitate the bite area and cause the venom to spread faster. Even if you do suck some of the venom out you are then getting venom near sensitive mucus membranes in your mouth (lips, gums, tongue, etc) which is the opposite of helpful.
Do not tie a tourniquet or restrict blood flow to the bite area. This keeps the venom constrained to one area and greatly increases the likelihood of major tissue damage and loss of a limb (which is usually the biggest risk with pit viper venom). Partially restricting blood flow may have some use in slowing the venom from reaching the heart/brain, but is totally unnecessary with most bites and will usually do more harm than good (especially if attempted by a non-professional).
Antivenin use is not required for every bite. Antivenin is made from the antibodies of horses and goats. It can cause all kinds of problems when injected into a human body, some of which may be worse than the effects of the venom (anaphylactic shock for example). Snakebites are fairly rare in the US so some doctors may not have direct experience treating them. If they want to give you antivenin for what seems like a mild bite (especially if it is from a copperhead) make sure you ask them why they want to administer it. Many snakebite cases only require antibiotics, pain killers, and supportive care.
BONUS: Avoid snake bites by not antagonizing snakes. 80-90% of snake bites occur when someone was trying to catch/kill the snake. The remainder are accidents where someone stepped on a snake or reached into its hiding place. If you know where the snake is (so there’s no chance of you accidentally stepping on it) then you are in almost no danger as long as you leave it alone and keep your distance.
Spent last night (or rather early dawn) reading this great article on the sinister collaboration between anthropologists and the national security state (its nodes such as CIA, FBI, HTS): “Like it or not, Price argued, the US Army’s main job is to kill and dominate; anthropologists couldn’t take an advisory role in the kill chain and simultaneously maintain any real allegiance to its human targets.”
Read the whole thing if you’re an anthropologist or an anthropology student or none of that at all and just someone interested in seeing how governments hijack academia and ethics for some incredibly brutal purposes and propaganda. Hint: torture programs.