Adrift on the High Seas

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

Barbara here — your fearless managing editor. As a special Halloween treat, I’m giving Jason a break and taking over this week’s rundown of must-read articles.

Read on for my selection, which includes an amazing tale of survival at sea, the most brutal self-defense move that can take down any attacker (I can vouch for this) and a seasonal self-reliance suggestion of what to do with all those leaves.

What are you waiting for?

1. Two American Women Rescued After Five Months at Sea

As an avid scuba diver, I regularly go on liveaboard trips, and the thought of being lost at sea for five months is terrifying. These two brave women and their determined dogs are a testament to the human will to survive in the face of daunting odds.

Fortunately, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava were also smart and had prepared accordingly for their journey from Hawaii to Tahiti. Before setting sail, they loaded their boat with supplies, including a year’s worth of food and water purifiers.

Check out the article above to read the rest of this incredible story.

2. Is Your Smartphone Listening to You?

Here’s something downright spooky: Have you ever noticed an ad appear on your web browser for a product or service you were just discussing out loud? Sure, some people might brush it off as a coincidence, but what if — just what if — your phone was listening to you.

Well, not your phone per se, but companies like Google and Facebook that may be tapping into your phone’s microphone to electronically eavesdrop on your conversation.

Of course, these companies deny doing any such thing, but I’m not taking any chances. Every time I update my phone, I revisit my privacy settings to ensure access to the microphone is turned OFF for each app. I suggest you do the same.

3. Walk Down ANY Street With Confidence

I live in one of the top five most dangerous cities in America. Baltimore’s 2017 per capita homicide rate is putting the city on track to become the murder capital of the United States. But even though I don’t have a car and I walk EVERYWHERE, I don’t live in fear.

Why? Because I keep my head up and on a swivel, I don’t walk around with my phone in my hand, I carry my tactical pen everywhere I go and I know three simple moves that will drop any attacker on the spot.

I’m a former martial arts instructor and in all my years of training, I never learned anything like this tri-part technique. Click on the link above to see it for yourself.

4. 50 Survival Items You Can Find Around the House

Take a look at this piece from Urban Survival Site that runs down 50 everyday items that all have a unique use in a survival situation. From condoms to coffee filters, you won’t believe some of the items that can pull double-duty in an emergency.

Of course, ingenuity should never take the place of preparation, but if you’re caught between a rock and hard place and have to MacGyver your way to safety, this article has some creative ideas to keep in mind.

5. How to Make Great Compost From Leaves This Fall

Fall is finally here and the leaves they are a-changin’. I love this time of year — the vivid colors… the sharpness in the air… Girl jumping in leavesthe invigorating crunch of leaves underfoot… and when I was a kid, I had a ball playing around in a big ol’ pile of leaves in the backyard. Just look at me:

But no matter how much fun they are, eventually, those leaves have got to go.

After Mother Nature puts you to work cleaning up her beautiful mess, why not put those leaves to work for you? Check out the post above from Old World Garden Farms that lays out the four keys to composting leaves.

Nutrient-rich compost is an essential ingredient for a productive garden, and this is quite possibly one of the easiest (and cheapest) things you can do to increase your bounty next year.

Ah, the cycle of life.


Barbara Hauck

Barbara Hauck

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