The Event

On Sunday 19th February I went to The Event. This was the second in a series of talks regarding the Apocalypse. (The first one had a space scientist giving talk as to how the Apocalypse would come from space which I think would have been awesome to listen to, so I’m a little disappointed that I missed the first one) But never mind I very much enjoyed the talks that I had.

Before I get into the specifics of the talks then I am going to note here the important things that I learned during this talk.

  1. Do not flush the toilet!
    If it’s a nuclear apocalypse and you’ve found shelter of some kind then flushing the toilet will bring in contaminated water and then you’re screwed. (Also don’t go outside! No matter what.)
  2. Keep Tins of Tuna and Custard packed away.
    For the first month of the Apocalypse then you can if necessary survive with these 2 items. Tuna provides any protein you need, custard the calories. Also a very very tiny drop of bleach into contaminated water and it will kill any nasty crap that’s in there. (If you put too much bleach in you need to dilute down again and leave for a while.)
  3. Have a facemask ready.
    If its a pandemic, then this cuts down the risk of you spreading any nasty germs to other people. (So clearly we kind of want everyone to have these.)
  4. The state only care about the well being of the state not you the individual. Make sure you look after yourself as an individual. (See Vinay Gupta’s video below on Complexity Kills)
  5. Those American survivalists who are so worried about the apocalypse? Who hoard all that food and have LOTS of guns? Most of them cannot farm. What are they going to do when they finally run out of food? Yes that’s right turn into the raiders they are so afraid of!!
While we (myself and hubby – who had kindly agreed to be dragged along – it was for his own good, what if the apocalypse had struck?) were waiting for The Event to start the projector was looping through a presentation that had several shots from various different Apocalypse themed movies/shows/games. I think we managed to work out most of them. I was surprised to see a picture of Watership Down flash up, but I guess when you think about it, while they maybe Rabbits, their whole warren is destroyed so it is an apocalypse.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see a shot of what we both thought must be the Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2. As I think people can often overlook apocalyptic themed computer games. (Don’t worry if you have NO IDEA what I’m on about here, then I am planning to do a post re:Mass Effect once number 3 has been out and I’ve finished it. :))

We got goody bags which had codes for a free eBook of Pandimonium – a collection of apocalyptic short stories, download of the Dinosaur Planet Musical (see further down), another cd of music by the same band (Forest Moon of Endberby), two copies of the Hackers paper, some sweets, a sticker, and a voucher for some money off a Zombie type event done by (This looks quite interesting I may well look into doing one of those!!)

Right so on with the talks:

1. Catherine O’Flynn
Whose talk was on visiting Hack Green (a declassified nuclear bunker that was built for the cold war) and how to make it a family fun event(!) (You have little mice hidden about and ask children to find them all – some of these mice may look strangely irradiated!) This was a fun if poignant talk.

And I think it was Catherine (although it may have been Sarah – speaker #3 so sorry if it was!) who made the point that when we remember the 80s we only ever think of the crazy hair and the clothes, people forget just how afraid everyone was of the possibility of a nuclear attack. How it was a very real threat. I was born in the 80s so I don’t really recall any of this, but I do recall my mum saying to me once how they had worried when they’d bought their house as it didn’t have a basement. Not that that would have done much good against the radiation but I guess it provided people some semblance of comfort?

2.MJ Hibbett & The Validators
We were wonderfully entertained by a very short rendition of this musical. A musical we’re we are informed that the apocalypse comes in the form of Dinosaurs invading from Space! (because everything is cooler when its From Space! or is For Science! 😉 ) Only to discover to our horror that they are shortly followed by space faring Robots who want their escaped dino slaves back! This was a very silly and entertaining take on the apocalypse and well worth listening too:

3. Sarah Angliss
Talked about the Protect & Survive Monthly magazines (late 70s early 80s) which gave information on how to ‘survive’ the nuclear war that was brewing. E.g. using tables as a shelter(!). She also talked about the shelter experiment, where a family of 3 lived in a bunker as if there had been a nuclear strike for 2 weeks. Turns out this experiment wasn’t the greatest. The family had to wind a crank 500 times every two hours to get ‘fresh’ air, they had also only been given 2 hours to shop for food just before they were put inside for 2 weeks. I believe their menu contained a lot of crackers and tins of sardines. (Annoyingly I didn’t write that down so I can’t quite recall what it was.) Additionally the people running the experiment had effectively breached the shelter to get a line in for a camera – this cause the shelter to flood and they had to call the fire brigade.

4: Vinay Gupta
A look at the things you need to consider in order to survive an apocalypse. He is a very good speaker and while this was amusing in places this was also quite a stark look at the things you have to consider to survive.

I’m really pleased that he has put this video up to watch as I don’t think I could do it justice in a summary, there were a lot of good points! This is a must watch vid!
(Most of my tips a the start of this post aside from #1 are from this talk. So I highly recommend you watch it.)

5. Alex Preston
Whose friends all joined cults while at uni, played us a sample of people speaking in tongues. He also read from his new book The Revelations, a scene where a group of people who have gone away for a religious weekend, begin to speak in tongues during a service.

6. Sarah Hardy & Suzanne Newcombe
They work at Inform (The information Network on Religious Movements) and talked about religious beliefs and what the apocalypse can mean. E.g. sometimes it s a beginning to something new such as ascending, possibly for everyone (if you prey enough) or perhaps just the chosen few.) They explained how there are apocalypses prophesied all the time and that 2012 is not unique in being the end of the world. Nor are all of the prophecies for the apocalypse in 2012 related to the Mayan Calendar, its just that that is what the media has latched on to.

There was another speaker after that but there was a little bit of a mix up with whether he was running late (at the time we thought he was, but turns out he wasn’t). We missed him as by this point hubby had cramp in his leg and I really needed a cup of tea so we headed home.

And I apologise for the rather long post! To sum it up I had fun, learned a lot and I hope I have imparted some of that on to you! Keep safe and stock up!

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