Welcome to your Hump Day Reading List!
This is your refuge from the impersonal Google and FaceBook algorithms that seem to run our lives these days. Instead of a machine deciding what you’ll see, I personally go out and look for great articles that actually have value in the quest for greater personal and family safety.
From all of the articles that I find, I weed out the “fake news” and those that don’t have direct application to some aspect of preparedness. Then, to fight the growing scourge of information overload, I distill everything down to what I believe to be the three most useful articles you can read right now, explain the context of those articles, and identify any bias so you can trust what you read.
It’s a more personal, more targeted, and more efficient way to get the information you need!
Here’s what I’ve found for you this week:
This week in Defensive Training and Gear:
The “Head Shot”
There are people in the business of training defensive shooting who preach the “head shot” as a sure fight-stopper. I’ve seen people on the range practicing this skill and accepting any hit on the head of the target as proof of their shooting prowess.
There are two problems with this. First, after the first shots in a fight people start moving — and the head is a surprisingly mobile target. Second, the area of the head which has to be hit to effect incapacitation is, in fact, much smaller than most people think.
Combined, these two realities make a successful head shot quite difficult. What happens if the shot misses that small vital area and hits somewhere else on the head?
As Greg Ellifritz points out in this article, the result is very unpredictable. There are alternatives, and he goes into one of them.
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
Someone just grabbed your child. What should you do?
This is part of an excellent series on defense against people who lay hands on your children. In the series, author Melody Lauer looks at what constitutes kidnapping and child endangerment, and what levels of force are appropriate in the context of the incident.
This segment deals specifically with less-than-lethal options to maximize the child’s safety while dealing with the attacker. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, and I recommend reading the whole series. Lauer has given this a lot of thought, and her dual expertise in both motherhood and defensive training has given her a unique perspective on the topic.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
What is the power grid, and why are people worried about it?
The electrical distribution network — the “power grid” — is really a marvel of American engineering. It sends electricity over long distances, from where it’s generated to where it’s used, silently and reliably.
But it isn’t all sunflowers and unicorns. Our grid is aging and in need of both repair and expansion, but the investment to simply maintain it is enormous. To fix its vulnerabilities would require a national commitment of very high magnitude. So, the system remains vulnerable — and gets a little more so every passing year.
This article gives a good overview of the problems with our aging grid, and the issues which could arise should any significant part of it fail. (My only reservation with the article is that the author pretty much ignores the day-to-day risks the grid faces from a wide assortment of natural disasters. The result is pretty much the same, however, so I’ll give him a pass on that point.)
– Grant Cunningham