Surviving The Ocean

Surviving The Ocean

Most people have considered what their chances would be if they ever became stranded out at sea, usually before some kind of boat journey in a country where health and safety is not so high on the list of priorities when operating a boating service for passengers.

So, with that in mind and about to embark on a journey in India where the chance of a boat trip is quite high, I thought I would do a little research and publish my findings about how to survive in the ocean if you find yourself lost at sea!

Take a Breath and Relax…

It’s the most commonly known piece of advice but often the least often implemented. You must remain as calm as possible. Panicking will not help at all. You should look around, see what the situation is and think about your best course of action. The next things you should do as as follows:

  1. Stay afloat
  2. Create/build a shelter to guard against the sun
  3. Decide if you think rescue will be on its way
  4. Look for sources of food and water
  5. Staying alive
  6. Getting rescued

Let’s take a closer look some of these points.

1. Staying Afloat

The first thing you need to do is make sure you can find something to get onto, such as a life raft or failing that any kind of debris that floats and you can hold onto. Anything is better than nothing and being stranded without a raft makes life a lot harder.

However, if you do find yourself without any kind of raft there are two techniques to use to conserve energy:

1. Float on your back in a star shape when the water is calm. This will conserve energy and if you can’t see land then you are going to have difficulty swimming for it and you would run out of energy. Stay floating and hope rescue arrives or you float towards land

2. If the sea is rough you should lie face down in the water and exhale when you are face down.

Life Float for Rescue

Life Float

Then bring your head up to take a breath when you need to. Lying face down and exhaling underwater will help to relax you as you are not so aware of the water splashing over your face.

2. Shelter

Your second task is to try and create some kind of shelter for yourself to safe-guard against the sun and adverse weather. If you have a life boat you are OK because it should have sides and you can sit inside. If it’s cold this will help keep you warm and if it’s hot in the day this should help protect you from the sun.

3. Rescue

Decide if you think you should just stay put and wait for rescue or make more of an effort to find your way to land. If you are in a more developed country it is likely that you are going to have a search party out looking for you very quickly. If not, then you should consider you options for finding land.

4. Food and Water

It’s really important to locate water ASAP because you can’t survive long without it. Ideally you would find some kind of floating water bottles full of water but that’s a bit of a long shot…So, you have a few options

Fishing

Fishing for food

Recycled Water – Your own urine can be used as a water source. It’s not pleasant but in a life of death situation you have to do whatever you need to. However, this is not a great option and should only be used as a last resort because it can cause more severe hydration due to the salts in it.

Rain Water – Catch as much of it as you can because it’s a great source of water. After catching it, try to keep a lid or cover over it to prevent it from evaporating.

Fishy Fluids – Fish are good for eating and hydrating. If you cut one open and drink from the spine area, eyes and flesh you should get some much needed fluids.

Sea Water – Most people recommend against this as it is so salty but it is an option if you have nothing else. Some people argue that the body is able to survive on salt water from the ocean.

Fish – As mentioned already fish are a great source of food. If you don’t have any water, though, eating might not be such a good idea as it requires water to digest. Only eat when you absolutely need to. You can last a long time without food.

5. Staying Alive

If you are in waters where there are predators like sharks you need to be careful not to release any blood into the water because they will sense it from many miles away and come to see what they can find. Try to stay away from the water if you have any kind of open wound.

6. Getting Rescued

You should try to do as much as possible to make yourself visible from the air if you think they will be searching for you. Any kind of flare gun or bright colured material should be kept ready to wave and use when appropriate.

Images courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, cbenjasuwan and bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Purify Water

How to Purify Water

Water is essential to life. Our bodies are approximately 90% water. Just a couple of days without water and you could be dead, but you can survive for many more days without food. Dehydration is a killer and affects how your body functions within hours of becoming dehydrated.

Yet there are many places in the World without clean water. Those who are explorers are more likely to understand ways in which they can purify water and make it suitable for drinking, therefore potentially saving their life if they were ever in a situation without access to clean water.

Carrying water is a bit of a pain because it is so heavy. So you would want to only carry a small amount and rely upon your knowledge of the area in order to know where there were fresh water lakes to get a refill. You could also rely on your skills to purify water.

If you are out in the wild you have three options for purifying your water before you can drink it:

  1. Boiling
  2. Use of chemicals
  3. Filtration

Let’s look at each of the in turn.

Boiling

As any parent should already know, you would always boil water before giving it to your baby. The process of boiling kills off any germs and bacteria in the water which might harm you. The same is

Boiling Water in Kettle

Boil you water

true when you don’t have access to clean water, you can try boiling it. Doing so for 10 minutes should make the water drinkable and prevent you from catching a nasty bug.

When you have boiled it, let it rest and then give it a quick shake to make it a little oxygenated again otherwise it will taste pretty flat.

Chemicals

Iodine is the usual chemical used to make dirty water drinkable. It can take up to half and hour to work and can leave a nasty taste. However, there are additional tablets which help to mask that horrible taste and smell. It’s a very effective method to cleanse the water and the tablets are very compact and lightweight which means you can transport them very easily.

Filtration

If you have very dirty water you can use a filter to remove the larger, unwanted particles and then perhaps use another method to make the water cleaner. This is a great initial first step and the filter is usually going to be very small so it’s not difficult to carry with you.

Conclusion

When you are out searching for water it is best to try and take the water from as close to a source as possible. For example, a spring which comes directly out of the ground is where you want to get the water from because it is less likely to have been contaminated when you get it.

Fresh Water Spring

Fresh Water Spring

If you are drinking from further downstream of the source you have to be aware that anything could be in the water. Common issues arise from dead animals in the water which then contaminates any water downstream from that point.

Always try to find running water wherever possible because it is less likely to contain contaminates that result from stagnant water sources. If you have to take water from a stagnant source use a large vessel and then allow it to stand for a while so that the sediment sinks to the bottom and anything which floats can be scrapped off the top surface of the water.

Image courtesy of Exodus, smokedsalmon and John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Causes of Global Warming

The Causes of Global Warming

One of the main issues of the 21st century is the issue of global warming. Scientists have talked about it, politicians have debated on it, and films have been made on it. Global warming is now part of the cultural lexicon. On the other hand, not a lot of people know the devastating details of global warming. A lot of people know that global warming is about the Earth getting hotter and hotter as the decades go by until it reaches a catastrophic level.

What Causes Global Warming?

Many people may know what global warming is but they do not know its root causes. It can be said that people find it easy enough to take the root causes of global warming for granted because they are ever so present in modern day living. What they do not know is that the more they ignore these causes, the more catastrophic the consequences could be.

Whenever a person turns on a light or starts up their car, these everyday acts are actually contributing to global warming. When one turns on the light, energy is being used and its emissions are going up into the atmosphere. When one starts up the car, its fumes also head straight up into the atmosphere. These emissions that go up into the atmosphere are made up of carbon dioxide (Co2). Instead of moving away into space, the Co2 is trapped by the atmosphere and creates a kind of blanket effect on the planet. The Co2 traps the planet. Thus heat cannot escape out of the atmosphere and it stays on Earth, warming it up in the process. The Co2 emissions are the root cause of global warming.

Co2 Emissions

Unfortunately, right now Co2 emissions are a fact of everyday life. Energy companies which supply the world’s electricity cannot run without Co2 emissions. Our transportation cannot travel without Co2 emissions. One hopes that with alternative energy sources the world can do away with Co2 emissions. However, Co2, unlike other chemicals, lingers even after a long while. And the accumulation of Co2 by the atmosphere is about to reach dangerous levels within the next few decades.

To add insult to injury, not only is the world sending up Co2 emissions to the atmosphere, but it is also depleting any healthy oxygen emissions by continuing to cut down forests and poison rivers and oceans. The results of massive industrialization are also one of the root causes of global warming. In addition to this, waste management, such as burning refuse, brings out nitrous oxide and methane to the atmosphere. Both of these chemicals are toxic. And if these chemicals are trapped within the Co2 blanket, then the air the world will be inhaling will be poisonous in the very near future.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the root causes of global warming, one will realize why people usually do know about these things. It is too bleak and even apocalyptic to think of such things. However, it is only by looking at the causes that solutions can be found. And the world needs a solution to global warming now more than ever. 

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Health Dangers of Global Warming

Health Dangers of Global Warming

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is the phenomenon of the continual rise in the Earth’s temperature due to carbon dioxide emissions creating a “blanket” around the planet and thereby trapping in the heat. A lot of the apocalyptic images of the effects of global warming involve the melting of the polar ice caps or the constant heat waves that will spread doom around the world. Even though these images of a bleak future are plausible, they are not the greatest danger to humanity caused by global warming. The greatest danger is more subtle and its catastrophic effects may already be beginning. The danger to the world’s health in general caused by global warming is arguably the most pressing issue of environmentalism today. To read a little more about global warming check out the Wikipedia page.

Industrialization and Human Health

For the reason that constant industrialization is one of the key causes of global warming, one should take note of the fact

Factory Fumes

Industrialization and Global Warming

that a majority of the world’s population make their living in the working conditions of industrialization. Laborers all around the world work in coal mines, oil wells, and in factories that emit the Co2 emissions that are causing global warming. Because they work so long and so closely with these materials that are scientifically proven to be detrimental to their health, these workers usually have a lower life expectancy than usual. In the coal mines, workers contract black lung. In oil wells, workers suffer from cancer. In the factories, workers are poisoned. As long as these working conditions remain, workers will continue to die from the industry machine that is one of the root causes of global warming.

In addition to this, the Co2 blanket is not only trapping heat but it is also trapping poisonous gases. All the gases that are emitted by waste management, such as methane or nitrous oxide, are deadly to human beings. In earlier days, when industrialization was not as massive as today and the Co2 blanket was not as thick, most of the toxic gases would disappear out of the atmosphere and into space. Nowadays, because these gases are trapped inside the planet, the world is vulnerable to them. The air has never been more toxic than it is today. Pollution is at an all time high, not just because of the hundreds of thousands of cars emitting Co2 around the world but because of deforestation and the poisoning of our oceans, rivers, and lakes.

Natural Combatants to Global Warming

Not only is the world getting more toxic, but on an environmental scale the world has fewer things to combat this toxicity. Before, the rain-forests continued to emit good oxygen into the atmosphere. This would help combat any Co2 or toxic gas that went into the air. But because more forests are being cut down, there is less oxygen in the air than ever before. In the future, it is not unthinkable to see the world’s population living with gas masks all the time.

Global warming is a threat to the planet’s survival. It is a threat to everyone. If things continue the way they are now, then tragically there may be no future for our future generations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency also has more details on this subject, which you can check out here.

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Children’s Health

Children’s Health

I don’t think that it’s up for debate that the health of our children is not something which should be taken lightly or ignored in any way. A healthy child is one who will be active, energetic, balanced in the mind and willing to work hard and concentrate on learning new things about the world.

Children are often the best learners because they are receptive to new ideas, suggestions and do not approach a topic with preconceived ideas. They are open and honest in their ideas, too, usually creating completely different ideas about how to solve a problem.

Diet

I believe that the diet you have really influences your behaviour in a significant way. Eating chocolate, crisps and other highly processed and sugar full snacks is a sure way to have a child who is going to be up and down with mood swings like a yo-yo! Ideally you want there to be a balance in your child’s diet so that they are consistently in a good mood, by eating good food.

Although it can be very difficult because children nearly always want chocolate and crisps over healthy food like vegetables, you must try and limit the amount of the bad stuff that they consume. Perhaps allow them to have one sweet treat per day, after the main meal of the day and no more. Even then, if you can try to keep it healthy that would be good, so maybe fruit with yogurt or some ice-cream which has fewer preservatives and bad contents.

Treats

Oftentimes chocolate and bad things are used as a way to convince a child to do something or as a reward for them doing something well. Although these ideas always have good intentions it might be leading to a behaviour pattern whereby the child believes that the chocolate is a good thing and that they can have it when they have been good or think they deserve it.

Instead, you can find almost anything else to use as a reward. Perhaps a toy, extra time playing outside with their friends or more pocket money each week to incentivise them to behave well. This should help to remove the association with good behaviour and chocolate.

Lead by Example

Your children will want to do what you do so if you are eating chocolates, sweets and crisps and drinking fizzy drinks like Coca Cola al the time your children will do the same. If this is what you are used to then it’s going to require big changes for you to make sure your child doesn’t turn out with the same eating habits. It might be tough but it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it or not, your child’s health that is…

Conclusion

It takes a lot of effort to ensure that your child’s health is what it should be but if you make small changes consistently you should be able to notice a significant improvement over the weeks and months that you are trying to change the way your child associates with foods and therefore how healthy they are.

Good luck!

Image courtesy of NayPong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Stay Healthy

How to Stay Healthy

In today’s world we are faced with problems that were not in existent many years ago, but the one which I would like to talk about today is healthy food and remaining nourished.

Ironic

Dry Infertile Soil

Bad soil = bad crop

The irony is that as we have developed food production has moved away from home-grown, nutritious and naturally organic food to highly chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. If you look at 90% of the products in the supermarket I bet that you will find nearly all of the fruit was farmed from a different country, and probably different continent, and that the packaged foods contain ingredients that look more at home in a chemistry lab than in food.

Unfortunately it has become the case that cheap food sells and consumers want cheaper food and more for less. This drives down the price so manufacturers look for ways of lowering that even further, thereby reducing the quality of the food. You see, food production the natural way is expensive; it takes a long time to grow, requires a lot of attention and has to be picked, packed and shipped.

The producers will reduce costs by getting cheaper labour, shipping in bulk and less often (so they have to pick fruit before it’s ripe) and use preservatives to keep the food from going off so it has a long shelf life.

Artificial

With modern science it has become far easier for companies to develop artificial ingredients to replace items which are expensive or more likely to expire quickly in foods. This has lead to many ingredients being developed which are not good for the human body. The body is not used to dealing with them because they are foreign and cause upset.

Unfortunately, because these items are easy and cheap to produce they infiltrate large numbers of food items and become the dominant ingredients in many foods. Further, people actually want more of them because they are the cheap foods and they would rather have the cheap food than the more expensive one, and most of the time they do not realise how bad it is for them because there is no immediate reaction to it.

Moving Forwards

I would highly recommend buying food which is locally sourced and, if possible, organic. Even if it’s not organic it would be still better to buy locally because of the early picking of the food and the conditions under which the food is subjected to while travelling many thousands of miles from one continent to the other. You can find out a little bit more about what organic food is, here.

If you can grow your own beans, tomatoes and potatoes in the garden then that is a massive plus for you and will benefit your health hugely. It will also teach you about growing food and probably appreciate it a little more so you don’t waste it, as you have put all that hard effort into growing it.

So, hopefully you will have a few ideas about this post and look at ways to reduce your intake of poor foods with cheap, highly processed ingredients.

Images courtesy of Simon Howden and Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Rising Sea Levels

Rising Sea Levels

It’s a question that causes much debate among people world over and also the scientists. Not everyone agrees and the fact that neither do the scientists causes much confusion and makes it unclear as to whether we should be worried about the human impact on rising sea levels.

There is mounting evidence that the sea levels are rising, however. It’s thought that the levels will continue to rise as the years go on. Researchers have shown that sea levels rose very little between 0 AD and the turn of the 20th century. However, from then global ocean levels rose and are continuing to do so.

There are two reasons that contribute to rising sea levels:

1. As the oceans warm they expand, this is just because water expands when it heats and contracts when it is colder.

2. The loss of ice results in more water in the oceans and therefore an increase in volume and rising sea levels.

The seas are rising at the rate of about 3mm per year.

Scientists Studies

Around 20 or so research scientists have looked into the rising sea levels around the both poles in order to try and come up with some conclusive evidence about whether or not the icecaps are melting and contributing significantly to rising sea levels.

Trying to understand fully exactly what is happening is no easy task because it is so difficult to measure what is happening with the ice, snow and land in a reliable method. It’s also very challenging to get access to these remote places to measure accurately.

BBC Image Showing Rising Sea Levels

Image courtesy of BBC.co.uk

The Risks

Many cities and populations will be at risk from rising sea levels because they are on low lying land. For example, the Netherlands and London mainly reside on the flood plains of large rivers and the sea.

The Results

The researchers found that some areas of ice were actually increasing in size while others were decreasing. However, the rate of decrease is higher than the others are increasing, therefore resulting in a net loss.

The conclusion was that the ice sheets melting have causes around 11mm of sea level rise, but it could be up to 4mm more or less than that in reality.

Image courtesy of CNaene / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Human Health and The Ocean

Human Health and The Ocean

Humans do not naturally feel at home in the ocean because we are not adapted for life there. However, Man kind has long used the sea for many reasons. The oceans of the World occupy more space on Earth than land. We have used the seas for many years as a means of transport and also for a source of food.

In more modern times we use the marine life to produce pharmaceuticals in order to improve our health and cure many of our ailments. But the use of the oceans is not limited to medicine and transport. We also use them for recreation with sports such as surfing, windsurfing and sailing.

For centuries fishermen have caught fish in the oceans and made successful businesses from it so it is also a valuable economic asset which can be used. We must be careful, though, not to overuse it and exhaust the already dwindling numbers of species which are found in the oceans.

Oregon State University have published numerous studies on the importance of ocean health, safety and how useful it is in the environment.

Wealth and Oceans

As you might expect, countries who are poor or who have suffered many years of recent war are not likely to spend much money on ensuring the cleanliness of their oceans. Likewise, those countries which are going through economic growth and especially those which rely on more industrial industries for their economy are probably more likely to be polluting the oceans which surround them.

It could also be expected that the wealthiest nations would be the ones who have the best kept and least polluted seas surrounding their land. Unfortunately this is not the case. Many of the more advanced and economically developed nations, such as America and China, have poor ocean health in their nearby waters.

It is these countries which should be leading by example and setting the standard of ocean health which others should be aspiring to. Hopefully over the coming years more regulation and tighter laws on polluting the oceans will be implemented so that the world’s seas become a cleaner and safer place for everyone.

Image courtesy of boulemonademoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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