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Retreat of the Week

By Todd Savage | Friday, December 19, 2014

  

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The Ultimate Protection Canine

By Todd Savage | Friday, December 19, 2014

  

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PREPAREDNESS TIP: FIREARM BASICS

By Joel Skousen | Friday, December 19, 2014

(Andrew Skousen) Preppers often half-jokingly refer to their stockpiles as "Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids," but there’s no joke about the need for effective weapons as an integral part of your preparedness plans. The ongoing cultural war against guns continues to rage on the national and local stage. All weapons have scary effects and are easily demonized. Opponents of firearms would have us believe that all we need is a phone or alarm system to call 911 and “let the professionals handle it.” But the police almost always arrive too late and can only write a report on how you were victimized. 

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IS THE US BEHIND THE DECLINE OF THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY?

By Joel Skousen | Friday, December 19, 2014

As oil prices sink and the value of the Russian Ruble collapses, there are a lot of political commentators in Russia and on the left and right here in the US claiming that this is all rigged by the West, in league with Saudi Arabia to undermine the Russian economy and provoke a war with Russia. Many in this diverse camp view Putin as a victim or even as a kind of hero because he alone seems to have the power to stand up to the constant aggression and intervention of the West throughout the world—whereas even we Americans don’t seem to have any power to stop the direction of our government. Putin is no hero and he’s not a victim either. This week, I’ll help analyze what is really going on. 

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SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH POLICE AGAINST CITIZEN RIGHTS

By Joel Skousen | Friday, December 19, 2014

The bad news just doesn’t stop. On the legal front the Supreme Court just ruled that an illegal traffic stop will not preclude the prosecution from using evidence derived from that illegal stop. Amanda Warren of the Activist Post has the tragic and misguided ruling on “How Cops can pull you over for the wrong reason” 

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Who owns the Local Dam?

By Todd Savage | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Columbia dams map 

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Tired of the City? MOVE!

By Todd Savage | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
 

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Time to Prep the Mind

By Todd Savage | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
 

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How to Build a Solar Water Heater

By Todd Savage | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

 

 

(Mother Earth News) This simple solar water heater provides both domestic hot water and space heating. You can adjust the size and design to meet the needs of your home. You’ll find nearly all the materials at your local hardware or lumber store, and to build it, you need only basic carpentry skills and a little plumbing know-how. Amazingly, the cost of this DIY system is only about one-eighth of what you would pay for an equivalent commercial system!

How It Works

The system takes water from near the bottom of a solar heat storage tank and pumps it through a collector — where it’s heated by the sun — and then back to the tank. This continues as long as there’s sun on the collector. An off-the-shelf controller monitors the temperatures of the collector and the tank, and it turns the pump on only if the collector is hotter than the tank. When the pump is off, water drains from the collector back to the tank. This type of “drainback” system is especially useful in cold climates because it keeps the water from freezing inside the collectors.

 

Water is preheated in a single pass through a large coil of PEX pipe immersed in the solar storage tank. The preheated water then goes to your regular hot water tank. This simple one-pass system works well because the PEX pipe coil is large enough to hold quite a bit of preheated water right in the coil, and it has so much surface area that it acts as a good heat exchanger after the initial hot water from the coil has been exhausted. The water in the tank is used strictly to store heat — it is not part of the potable water system.

The floor heating system pumps water from near the top of the tank through the radiant floor loops, and then back to the bottom of the tank. The control system monitors the room temperature and the tank temperature, and it turns the pump on only if the room is cold and the tank is hot. The control system is made from two standard thermostats.

 

A key feature of this design is that the storage tank is non-pressurized. This gives you a lot of storage volume at a low cost and also eliminates the need for a separate drainback tank and heat exchanger.

My aim with this solar water and space heater was to create a design that would be simple, low-cost, long-lived, reliable, low-maintenance, and as easy to build as possible. Over the past five years, the design has progressed through several versions with a lot of feedback from early builders, and I think that together, we’ve made good progress toward these goals. I hope you’ll find it a fun and rewarding project.

 

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Hugelkultur

By Todd Savage | Tuesday, December 16, 2014

 

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