Archive for March, 2012

Hello all.  First, let me say that if you have subscribed via email, your email message usually does not contain the whole post.  To see the whole post you may have to go online.  Usually I put the most relevant information at the end after a some nonsensical jokes or something …like…. this!

Recently, I happened to come across two of my colleagues talking about how long it would take to respond to various scenarios such as some of the scenarios you may have read right here on the Urban Survival Blog.  Specifically, they wanted to know how long it would take to respond to an unforeseen threat.  The problem of course is once you tell someone you are going to do something it becomes impossible to really catch them off guard.  Nevertheless, they wanted to give it a go.  So they had to come up with a way to “test” reaction time to an event (stimulus for those egg heads out there).  Now most people would choose to do this by, I don’t know…… dropping a ruler and seeing how far the ruler drops before the other person catches it.?  You can find this very intuitive experiment here: http://www.raftbayarea.org/ideas/Human%20Reaction%20Time.pdf

Well….. that’s for namby pamby 7 year olds!!  Not Urban Survivalists!  They decided they wanted to try something more realistic.  So they agreed they would test if one could block a slap in the face.  One person would slap the other.  The person being slapped would try to put his hand on his cheek to mitigate the slap. To be fair they would take turns slapping each other. It kinda looked like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=5D8LaFAZMZ4

So folks what have we learned?  Well…… no one likes getting slapped in the face. When you think you were hit just a little harder then you hit, you make up for it and voila!  You get a slapfest. Okay…. I really did not want to post a video of a slapfest but I couldn’t help myself….  for those too high brow to watch two people slapping each other just skip the next video 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foCW-tPkiks&feature=related

Okay, now that we got that out of our system, let’s talk human reaction time.  We all have different reaction times.  These times are dependent upon the stimulus, our own physical condition, our mental/emotional condition and of course, the environment.

Believe it or not there is a lot of science behind the study of human reaction time. Think about if a 100 yard runner could react to the sound of the starter pistol 100th of a second faster.  That may very well mean the difference from obtaining a gold medal rather than a silver medal.  But what would happen if there was a slight incline in that person’s lane?  Would that affect how fast that runner could run?  If that runner had a big bowl of egg foo young the night before and is feeling that wonderful queasy eggy side effect?  Would that impact how fast that runner would hit the finish line?  Lastly, what if that runner heard some devastating news the minute before the sound of the gun?  Would that effect the runner’s start time?

Makes sense.  In the world of Urban Survival, reaction time can mean the difference in making it and not making it.  So what do you do?  Can we do things that will potentially improve our reaction time in the event we are faced with a life and death situation?  The answer is yes!  My colleagues, although funny to watch actually got better at protecting themselves as time went on.  Now, I don’t suggest you grab your friend and start slapping each other (if you do please post the video here).

There are fun and easy ways to improve your reaction time starting right now.  One simple way is to be in better physical shape.  Exercise more.  You cannot respond if you are gassed out.  Second, be in better mental/emotional shape.  Practice meditation, and practice mind enhancing games (see below). Lastly, be aware of your environment at all times.  You can read the post on situational awareness here:  https://urbansurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/urban-survival-situational-awareness/.

To start you off,  here is a fun reaction time game my friend Bill sent me.  I warn you, it can be addicting!  So get to it!  Thanks Bill for the game and the inspiration for the post. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/reaction_version5.swf

Thank you Carley!

The Renegade Rulebook

A few months ago, I featured a post titled “Ten Things I Learned From My Mom.” I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting, and decided that I also wanted to feature a similar post dedicated to my father. I’m fortunate enough to have two loving parents that I am very close with, and I hope some day that I can take everything I’ve learned from them, and apply it to my own parenting techniques.

1. Kick ‘Em Where It Hurts

In first grade, I came off the school bus hysterically crying. My dad met me at the top of our driveway, tried to console the sobbing little human peeking timidly up at him from underneath her bangs, while clutching her ninja turtle lunch box. After he asked me what was wrong, I explained that another boy on the bus had been saying mean things to me. My dad told me…

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Posted: March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Something to think about…….

The Four Gates School of Chinese Martial Arts

I was recently poking around online and came across a website that posed the age old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and then proceeded to answer this question with silly, made-up responses in the voices of assorted authors and philosophers.  (Here is a link; some of them are quite witty!)  One of the quips caught my attention.  In the style of the venerable George Orwell, “All roads are crossable by all chickens, but some roads are MORE crossable than others.”  While this was meant to bring humor, it made me pause in thought.  As Americans, we are taught that all Men are created equal, and that it is freedom of choice that determines our destiny.  All men, then, can accomplish any and every goal, fulfill every and any desire, realize and manifest any and every dream.  But some dreams are more easily brought to fruition than…

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The Mighty Matzo

Today, I’d like to mention one of the best survival foods available.  The mighty matzo!  Let me start by elaborating on the history of how the matzo became an urban survival food.  Many of you may know the story of the Buddhist monk who travelled from India to the northern regions of China and taught the Buddhist monks there how to protect themselves.  These techniques are what is widely regarded as the precursor to modern martial arts.  What is not so well-known is that at that very same time, a Polish rabbi name Shlomo Epstein emigrated to feudal Japan where he studied under the most knowledgeable samurai and ninjas.  They taught the rabbi the secrets of samurai and ninja combat and survival.  After twenty years of training and several bat/bar mitzvahs, Shlomo emigrated to Brooklyn, NY.  After witnessing the great turmoil this country was going through at the time, Shlomo decided to combine what he learned from his time in Japan with his Jewish heritage and opened the first ever school of jew-jitsu.

Solomon’s legacy can be seen in the arts of krav maga as well as Tiger “the mensh” Shulman’s Karate. Tiger and I actually studied together and I even went to his Bar Mitzvah.  We had such a meshuga time!

Me and Tiger. I'm 5th from the left (the asian kid) and Tiger is 6th from left. You can tell by the look on his face he knew he could kick everyone's butt's even then!

But I digress. What is even less known about Shlomo was his knowledge of urban survival food.  I found this recipe mixed in with old Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand records that Shlomo left behind and am sharing the recipe with you today.

Okay……. none of that is true.  I’m sure Tiger has a lawyer in his family so I apologize and say that I am only using legally allowed satire 🙂

The matzo brei recipe I am presenting today was passed down to me from my mother.  Nevertheless it fits the criteria for an urban survival recipe:  it’s quick, cheap, easy to make and can be modified for taste.  Matzo also never seems to spoil.  I think because it has a low moisture content.  I had boxes of matzo last for over 6 months! This recipe has a decent amount of carbohydrates and protein.

Below is the recipe.  It takes about 10 minutes and cost about $2.00.  I just got 5 lbs. of matzo free because I caught a sale at my local supermarket due to Passover coming up so my cost was much lower (such a deal!).  Let me know what you think and if you vary the recipe, please share.

Ingredients ( for one serving)

two matzos, two eggs, butter and salt

Directions:

Soak  matzos under cold running water for about a minute on each side.  Crumble matzos in a bowl.  Beat the two eggs and then add them to the broken matzos.  Mix the matzo and eggs together.

matzo in bowl

In a skillet add a pat of butter.  Place over medium heat. Pour the egg/matzo mixture in the skillet and flatten like an omelet.  Add a dash of salt over mixture.  In about two minutes, flip matzo over and cook for about two minutes.

matzo mixture in pan

Enjoy.

Finished matzo brei... yum!

Sometimes I truly wonder if it would be easier to try to survive in the jungle or on a desert island rather than our urban jungle.  In the real jungle you have very few, albeit very important concerns; food, water, shelter.  In the urban jungle you have to worry about people stealing your identity and your credit card information.  My friend Ted has been traveling the world and has used many products that he found helpful.  This is one of them.  Maybe we need to start a topic of where in the world is Ted today and what the heck is he buying…..

Take a look at this video:

So, here’s the product that Ted has researched and recommends.  It prevents the devices from reading the chips with your credit card information.  They are styling too!  Kinda reminds me of what the AV squad used to carry in High School.
It can be found here if you want to buy one (FYI,I do not get any money from the referral).  I do love a good bargain though!

A fellow blogger has started a discussion on where to carry a weapon (if you do).  Feel free to check in and join his discussion.

http://whatisselfdefense.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/where-to-carry-your-self-defense-tools/

you are standing in an enclosed bus stop and this guy, a 5’10” 265 lb. mental patient comes up to you and says “you owe me a chicken sandwich from yesterday!”  You politely inform him that he must be mistaken because you are allergic to mayonnaise.  He then starts to yell and scream around you that you stole his sandwich and he wants it back.  You decide to walk away, but he still follows you yelling about his sandwich.

Before you answer…. this is a real story about how one mentally ill man “terrorized” a neighborhood.  Please read below:

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-30/local/17923748_1_96th-larry-hogue-wild-man

What would you do??