Norway doomsday seed vault hits 1/2 million mark

By IAN MacDOUGALL, Associated Press Writer

Wed Mar 10, 7:01 pm ET

OSLO, Norway – Two years after receiving its first deposits, a “doomsday” seed vault on an Arctic island has amassed half a million seed samples, making it the world’s most diverse repository of crop seeds, the vault’s operators announced Thursday.

Cary Fowler — who heads the trust that oversees the seed collection, which is 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the North Pole, said the facility now houses at least one-third of the world’s crop seeds.

“In my lifetime, I don’t think we’ll go over 1.5 million. I’d be rather surprised if we go over a million,” Fowler told The Associated Press. “At that point, we’d have all the diversity in the world … and the most secure samples.”

Located in Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe. It was opened in 2008 as a master backup to the world’s other 1,400 seed banks, in case their deposits are lost.

War wiped out seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and another bank in the Philippines was flooded in the wake of a typhoon in 2006. The Svalbard bank is designed to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes.

Despite the rapid progress, Fowler said the bank still has significant holes in its collection.

“There are a few unique collections that we don’t have up there yet — Ethiopia and some of the Indian materials and some of the Chinese materials,” he said.

The most recent additions include a mold-resistant bean from Colombia and a collection of nearly every agricultural soybean species developed in the U.S. in the last century.


Appleseed Shoot

The Appleseed project will be holding a couple of events out at the Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club by Corson SD.

Here is an excerpt from Appleseed’s main webpage.
The Appleseed Program is designed to take you from being a simple rifle owner to being a true rifleman. All throughout American history, the rifleman has been defined as a marksman capable of hitting a man-sized target from 500 yards away — no ifs, ands or buts about it. This 500-yard range is traditionally known as “the rifleman’s quarter-mile;” a rifleman can hit just about any target he can see. This skill was particularly evident in the birth of our country, and was the difference in winning the Revolutionary War

The events will be help on the weekend of May 15 and 16, and also the weekend of July 24 and 25.

I heard an interview today from Michael Adam at of the appleseed project at and he was really quite compelling. I am seriously considering attending the May event, and thought that some of the people who visit here might like to have the same opportunity so here you go.
Here also is a link to the Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club’s website, if you want to know any more information about them.

God bless

We the people; how shall we survive the coming night?

I submit for all my fellow citizens the recent email I sent to one of our Senators. It is not much for eloquence or the stirring of men’s souls; but it is mine and it’s still my God given right to declare. I love my community and my nation to much to sit quietly by while the futures of my Children and their posterity are ravaged.

Sen. Klobuchar,

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the health care reform currently before congress. I know already your response yet I must give my humble word in this free speech society, it is my civic right and duty. I believe this legislation will be the end of us all. I say that in a purely fiscal manner. Yet when we end fiscally where will that leave the rest of it for us? We already have shortcomings in our Medicare/Medicaid budgets that are, to say the least, astronomical. How can any of us claim that this will be budget neutral? Medicare is worse than broke; the same is to be said for Medicaid and Social security, so how, I ask you again, will we pay for this??? I know the patent answer which shall greet me in your reply, should I receive any, but I must again voice my strong opposition to this legislation.
As a supplement to my protest of your support for this grave and perilous cause I submit, in contention to your written stance on embryonic stem cell research alone that, to this date this is how the tally stakes up against it:

Adult Stem Cells
Brain Cancer, Retinoblastoma, Ovarian Cancer, Skin Cancer: Merkel Cell Carcinoma,
Testicular Cancer, Tumors abdominal organs Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia,
Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, Cancer of the lymph nodes: Angioimmunoblastic Lymphadenopathy, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplasia,
Breast Cancer, Neuroblastoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Various Solid Tumors,
Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia,
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, POEMS syndrome, Myelofibrosis,
Auto-Immune Diseases
Diabetes Type I (Juvenile), Systemic Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Myasthenia,
Autoimmune Cytopenia, Scleromyxedema, Scleroderma, Crohn’s Disease,
Behcet’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis,
Polychondritis, Systemic Vasculitis, Alopecia Universalis, Buerger’s Disease,
Acute Heart Damage, Chronic Coronary Artery Disease
Corneal regeneration
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome, X-linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, X-linked Hyper immunoglobulin M Syndrome
Neural Degenerative Diseases and Injuries
Parkinson’s Disease, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke Damage
Anemias and Other Blood Conditions
Sickle Cell Anemia, Sideroblastic Anemia, Aplastic Anemia, Red Cell Aplasia,
Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia, Thalassemia, Primary Amyloidosis
Diamond Blackfan Anemia, Fanconi’s Anemia, Chronic Epstein-Barr Infection
Wounds and Injuries
Limb Gangrene, Surface Wound Healing, Jawbone Replacement, Skull Bone Repair
Other Metabolic Disorders
Hurler’s Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Krabbe Leukodystrophy, Osteopetrosis,
Cerebral X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy
Liver Disease
Chronic Liver Failure, Liver Cirrhosis
Bladder Disease
End-Stage Bladder Disease

Embryonic stem cell research:

Now, I am not being paid by anyone, I am simply a Minnesotan voicing my disagreement with this policy. I care for these people, my neighbors and loved ones, dearly; yet I must ask, when did it become the Federal governments job to get their hands into everything? And dare I say it{ I am bound for the “fishy” list for sure} where is it CONSTITUTIONALLY required of it to do so? We the people are guaranteed to certain unalienable rights, no where among these is found the right to health insurance. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not the guarantee of said happiness only the pursuit. I do not mean that in any way to be a cold and calculated statement; only fact. We can say what we will, I know I will not dissuade you from your stance, nor will you dissuade me from mine but please remember not to tread on me!


Let’s Play Makebelieve

Let’s pretend that our community, and those surrounding are hit by a devastating natural disaster… Maybe an ice storm followed by blizzard lasting several days. Let’s also say this storm stretches from Kansas City to the Canadian border. The storm would have been well broadcast ahead of time so people would have had time to hit the grocery store, and stock up for a few days.  

Anyone who has spent more than about 5 minutes in South Dakota this winter knows this is not too hard to imagine. The reality is, this just keeps happing this year, and if you watch our local stores, every time the forecast is bad the store shelves clear out faster than you can say TEOTWAWKI.

But these have all been day or two storms. South Dakota has seen worse, and will see it again. So in this scenario we are talking about being cut off from outside food supplies. Water lines starting to freeze, power loses due to ice on the lines, and the conditions are bad enough that outside resources start to dry up. Trucks aren’t moving so gas stations start to run out of fuel, no food coming into the stores so on and so forth. You find that you are forced to rely in yourself and your family.

What if it gets so bad that people start resorting to desperate measures? In a South Dakota blizzard no one questions when they don’t see movement around a house for a few days. So it would be a perfect time for someone to come in and take what you have… there will be no report of a missing person, or family for several days…

Times are starting to get desperate, and people are starting to band together. You have to choose, do you join up with those who are looting, steeling and causing harm to survive, or to you take sides with those who are at least trying to maintain some moral reserve, only taking from the dead, only causing harm in self defense and trying to rebuild?

After you choose your side, what are you going to do to contribute to the new community? Are you medically trained, or good with computers and networking? Are you a leader, if so are you able to hold onto that position, or are you willing to sit as second in command? Are you a hunter, a scavenger, a cook or butcher?

So here is the question…

Which side you take, why are you choosing that way, and what will be your position in this new community?

There are no wrong answers, just food for thought, and discussion.

Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

What did you do last weekend?


We had our first Survival Club, preparedness experience this past weekend at the Gun Show. I would like to say it was a planned exercise, but unfortunately it was not. It was a scenario where yours truly was severely lacking in a critical component of the prepper life style, and that is Situational Awareness.

Here’s the story, as I pulled off the main road, onto the road that would lead us to the convention center where the gun show was being held,  I immediately saw that the place was packed. This did two things in my mind…

  1. Told me all the good parking places would be used up, and I should look for alternate parking.
  2. Got me really fired up that we were about to see something really good, all those people can’t be wrong, right?


So, there’s an innocent looking parking lot across the street, which belongs to a closed business. There were maybe 20 or 30 trucks parked in the lot. The fact that they were all 4 wheel drive vehicles should have been a clue, I thought I had hit the jackpot, so I pulled in and started driving down the single lane, not really taking note that as I drove, the loose snow was starting to get deeper. At this point I had “My Spot” picked out. Like a hungry eagle going after a slow rabbit I zeroed in on my target, and nothing was going to stop me, until…

I pulled just past the last truck and things started to look really ugly really quickly. This is the point at which I came to realize that this lot may not have seen a snow plow in the winter of 09/10, and was not a good place to be in my minivan. Well within about 10 feet I was immovably stuck in that glorious white blanket that graces every single square inch of the South Dakota planes right now.

Thus began the great “Dig CompleteFaith out of the Snow” survival training… Class was in session.  Let me just start by saying I was totally unprepared for this situation, and what I did have on hand, I forgot about. So I want to start out by making a list of the mistakes I made.

  1. I became uber focused on my goal, and lost focus on my current situation.                
  2. When a bad situation arose I reacted instantly.
  3. I forgot what tools I had on hand to help deal with the situation.
  4. I did not have set of tools on hand to deal with things that are likely to happen in a South Dakota winter.

I am sure there are more things that can be added to that list, but that’s what I will start with.  So let’s take a look at each of these things.

  1. I focused on the end goal, and became blind to what was going on at the moment.   I took for granted that the road under me would be passable, and in this case it was not. I neglected to practice situational awareness in any form. Situational awareness is something I have always known about, but really haves started to take an interest in over the last year, and try to practice as much as I can. I think I need to work on that more. I believe Situational Awareness is a topic a post all to itself, so is something I am starting to formulate now.  


  1. I jumped in headfirst without assessing the situation. Simply said, I reacted. I think this made things slightly worse and more unpleasant then they needed to be. I have always thought a guy should carry a cigarette in his tool kit, and when something does happen the first thing he should do is sit down, spark one up and think about what’s going on. As an ex-smoker I don’t practice this, but it at least introduces the idea of taking a moment or two to fully assess the situation before taking action. In this case I was wearing street shoes and a hoodie so I would be comfortable walking around the gun show, and in the back of the van I had a good pair of boots, heavy gloves and a winter hat, which would have made things much more bearable.  I totally forgot to look at what I had available and let my hands get so numb in the snow that they still ach 3 days later as I type this up.


  1. Had I done #2, this would not have been a problem.


  1. Shoulda, coulda, Woulda… I should have had some sort of shovel on hand at the very least. In this case something to provide a little traction, such as floor dry, or cat litter may have helped. A tow rope was the tool we ended up using in the end.


So to wrap up here, if it weren’t for Dr. Mark, Strider and the kindness of some locals I would still be sitting there feeling like a bone head in a snow filled parking lot. It ended up taking 2 4×4 trucks and the efforts of about 10 men, and hour and a half to get unstuck.

So what good came of this? Well, a small group of men came together with an unexpected but common goal and were able to come up with an answer and saw it through to the end. A core from that small group found a stronger bond, by facing a trial together. Best of all Big Z, my 7 year old son, was able to witness this, and learn that part of growing into a man is a willingness to get out and get dirty, break your back a little to help another fella out of a tough spot. We were also blessed with the opportunity to

What did it cost me? Some pride and $40 to go see Dr. Myles at I do owe Dr. Mark one fancy ice scraper/snow removal tool, but all in all a fair price for a day that will last a long time in our memory.

Who’s ready for Saturday?

The Survival Club will be having a ‘Field Trip’ on 2-13-10 at the Ramkota in SF. Meet at the Ramkota Convention Center at 12:30 p.m. We will be viewing survival supplies.

Here is some good info on getting out of Zip Tie restraints…

I watched these videos and they seem like some pretty good info. Maybe a sub-topic for an upcoming meeting?