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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Does toothpaste have an expiry date?

I've often wondered if toothpaste really does go bad? Here's the answer.
Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Sensitive Toothpaste, Plus Whitening, 6 oz (Pack of 6)

But what happens to toothpaste when it expires?

According to Dr. John Sullivan, a Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) member and a general dentist in Westfield, the answer is, "Nothing. The reason toothpaste has an expiration date is only because the government requires it, notes Dr. Sullivan.
All fluoride-containing toothpastes require approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). To this end, the USFDA requires that a two-year expiration date be put on the product container.

"The elements found in toothpaste, including fluoride, don't expire, and toothpaste isn't any less effective if it's used after the expiration date," says Dr. Sullivan.


20 Ways to Look Like a Victim

Sometimes random bad stuff just happens to people, more often, however, people are targeted because they behave like a victim and make the perfect prey for someone looking to take advantage of them/assault them/do other nefarious things to them. Here's 20 ways to look like a victim (and, by doing the opposite, not to look like prey to a potential attacker):
  1. They don't pay attention to their surroundings. They may be cut off from the outside world by their iPod, paying attention to their kids, or chatting on the phone and not realize what is happening around them.
  2. They behave irresponsibly. Whether by hooking up with a loser (mostly women do this but men do this as well), absently leaving their wallet or other expensive things in clear view in their car, or becoming intoxicated with no one to watch their back.
  3. They become too trusting too soon. This is how people get taken advantage of and the perpetrator is usually gone before they realize what happened.
  4. They jump at offers that seem too good to be true. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Find out what the catch is before determining to move forward with the offer.
  5. They present themselves like a victim. They way you walk, talk, and act can mark you as someone to be well regarded to someone that looks like easy prey. Be the first one.
  6. The look like they are advertising to become a theft-in-progress. They dress inappropriately (ie: wearing a Rolex in the hood, or any other high value item for that matter), flash wads of cash in public, brag about their massive handgun collection, etc.
  7. They take stupid risks such as walking alone at night, leaving a bar with a stranger, or hanging out in locations where shootings are the rule rather than the exception, etc.
  8. They are afraid to stand up for themselves. Whether as a woman who never learned how to speak up and defend herself or a man who is afraid to get his ass kicked, sometimes you have to swallow your fear and act. At the least, it may throw your attacker off guard.
  9. They doubt themselves. Many people look back in hindsight after a bad situation and say they thought something was wrong with the fill-in-the-blank (stalker ex-boyfriend, mugger, Ponzi scheme) but they talked them self out of reacting to the problem because they doubted what their common sense or sixth sense told them was true.
  10. They are afraid to not be nice. It is common courtesy to be nice to people automatically, however this can get you in trouble. It is better to be cordial but distant (literally and figuratively) until you have assessed possible outcomes of the situation.
  11. They are too consistent. If your co-workers or neighbors can set their watches by your actions, you are too predictable and consistent which can lead to problems.
  12. Their attitude is either meek and submissive or arrogant and cocky, both of which inordinately attract bad guys to them.
  13. They provide too much information. It is a good thing to be a bit mysterious. These days people think that is is perfectly fine to put their every last personal detail or thought out to the public, which can make them excellent candidates for identity theft, stalkers, and more.
  14. They don't do their homework when it comes to travel. Most other countries are not like America and people either aren't aware of this or don't care which can result in all kinds of problems from theft to kidnapping to scams to worse.
  15. They don't prepare ahead of time to avoid being a victim. Whether it is taking a karate or assertiveness class, buying insurance, or getting vaccinated against the latest flu virus, it often takes less effort to be proactive than to be reactive.
  16. The don't guard their possessions, their home, and themselves then wonder why something bad happened. Insurance is a good idea, so is a sturdy lock on your door, and the habit of locking car doors.
  17. They hang around with losers. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Similarly, if you hang around losers, thieves, or other unsavory people, you can't be surprised when their nature makes them act in unsavory ways, even towards you.
  18. They don't do the right thing. "Codes of secrecy", knowingly allowing others to participate in fraudulent activities, and other behavior just to "go along and get along" doesn't do anything to improve their situation and usually creates even bigger problems.
  19. They become emotional victims. Which allows them to be controlled by their significant others, obliterate personal boundaries with those they are close to, and otherwise become a doormat to others who will take advantage of them.
  20. They make it too easy for the random criminal. Being nearly passed out drunk in the subway, forgetting to lock your doors, or setting a purse down in a shopping cart and walking away make it too easy to become a victim of crime.
The bottom line is to not be a victim. Yes, you may offend someone, miss out on a great deal, or get your ass kicked but the alternative is to open yourself up to victimization.

SAS Urban Survival Handbook

John ‘Lofty” Wiseman’s SAS Survival Handbook is a reknowned classic amongst the emergency preparedness / wilderness survival circles. It has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.  In face, I keep a copy of this book in my bug out bag.

However, not many of us would be found trapped in the wilderness, behind enemy lines.  A more useful book “for the rest of us” is the  SAS Urban Survival Handbook.
In the book, John Wiseman shows you strategies and techniques for:
- combating the problems and stresses of urban life for you and your family; making and keeping your home safe
- avoiding accidents and injury from tools, chemicals, and poisonous plants; insuring home security;
- dealing with travel dangers;
- combating threats from letter bombs, hijack, and kidnap;
- coping with natural disasters.
The book also  includes self–defense techniques to counter attacks of all kinds, first–aid procedures, skills for saving a life, and much more.
Buy the SAS Urban Survival Handbook

A bit on Shelf Life of foods

By Joseph Parish

Many people have asked me about the shelf life of various foods which survivalists often store in their emergency pantry. From my experience I would suggest the following guidelines be followed.

First let’s talk about powdered milk. It lasts longer when stored in the coolest location you can find. It should generally be used within a three year period of being purchased. Supposedly it should be acceptable for as many as 20 years when stored in a cool, dark, dry and airtight location and maintained in an oxygen free environment. I personally have had powdered milk stored for up to 10 years and it is just as good now as when it was originally stored. The key was to keep it oxygen free. Usually most families don’t keep it that long since they use and rotate their stock. A word of caution here is that powdered milk is sensitive to excessive heat so be careful.

As far as powdered eggs are concerned it is recommended that you not keep them for any extended length of time. In support of this Brigham Young University conducted a series of tests on powdered eggs which they had stored for 30 some years and discovered that they do not store very well after the first year. It is recommended that you place your powdered eggs in the freezer in order to enhance their shelf life.

Just as the powdered milk shelf life is effected by the temperature so also is that of home canned butter. Usually the home version of butter will keep well for approximately two years at which time it will develop an unusual taste. It can then be used for cooking but would be just about useless for spreading on a slice of bread. If you keep it in your basement where it is extra cool you may be able to extend its shelf life greatly.

Now let’s talk a bit about storing oil. When you get ready to accumulate your supply of oil make sure that you start out with good quality oil, this is the first requirement for a long shelf life. It is unlikely that a brand named oil will go rancid and I personally have kept some for as much as eight to ten years. When storing oil it needs to be stored in a fairly cool and dark location for the longest possible shelf life. You would also do well to store up on the smaller containers of oil such as the 48 ounce bottles rather then the larger ones. Keep in mind that once the older bottles are opened they will quickly oxidize and go rancid. 

Freeze dried fruits and vegetables generally have a projected shelf life of 25 years if unopened. Once these storage cans are opened they should last for up to one year but the exact amount of time will depend upon the humidity where you live. A higher humidity will shorten the shelf life greatly. Likewise canned meats will last for 25 years as well. It is always best that once a number ten can has been opened it should be used up within a two week period. 

White rice will is one of those staples which last forever. They just seem to have no shelf life what so ever. Baking powder as well as baking soda store well when kept dry. Research has indicated that 30 year old baking powder will leavened just as well as fresh if stored properly. Once it is opened be certain to keep it in a dry location or it will lose a considerable amount of its leavening affect.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish