2021-07-19 5 min read


Notes, 2021-07-19.

Pandemic isolation has taught me that my drive to make things is inextricably social. I have tried many times over the past months to find a project that would transport me into the joyous flow state of experimentation and creation - but only managed to make colossal messes alone in my apartment before losing all interest.

Radio is a technology that connects us across distance, so there is some irony to the fact that tinkering with crystal radios is the hobby that is bringing me back into face to face interaction. With hand built coils of magnet wires and shards of crystal, I can tap into the vast invisible oscillations of the electromagnetic spectrum. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I am planning radio hacking sessions with friends exploring coil design, radio telescopes, and DIY diodes. If we go into another lockdown, maybe we can communicate with our staticky homebrew builds.

-Hillary Predko

The most clicked link from last week's issue (~11% of opens) was a photo roundup of naval ship cats in tiny hammocks.

In The Prepared's Members' Slack, plans for local meetups are starting to percolate. The snappily named MMOTBACOTP (monthly meeting of the Bay Area chapter of The Prepared) wrapped up their second hangout this past weekend; I'll be hosting some outdoor gatherings in Toronto and Montreal in the coming months; there will be a NYC Members' hangout at The Prepared's shop on 2021-07-30; and Seattle Members will be meeting up the last week in August.

Planning & Strategy.

  • The Giant Mine, a decommissioned gold mine outside of Yellowknife in Canada’s arctic, produced 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide as a byproduct in its 50 years of operation. The plan for remediation looks 50 years into the future and involves freezing the lethal dust in a block of permafrost and storing it underground. This report argues sites like the Giant Mine need planning and funding for perpetual care and the chilling reality is that full remediation is beyond current scientific knowledge, technologies, and available resources. After an extensive literature review, the author concludes that the only thing that papers about toxic waste agree upon is the fact we have a big problem on our hands.
  • In 2019-03-04 I covered QuadrigaCX, a crypto exchange that became insolvent after its founder’s sudden death. A new podcast series untangles the bizarre series of events and shady strategies behind the exchange, relying on the years of investigative work by customers who lost considerable amounts of money.
  • Big Oil companies are turning to influencer marketing to clean up their image.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


‘24h Sunrise/Sunset’ displays beautiful views from unsecured CCTV cameras.

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