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6 Crazy Ways People Are Prepping for Doomsday

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By Chris Gayomali


REUTERS/China Daily China Daily Information Corp - CDIC

Circle your calendars: The world ends on December 21 ... at least according to some out-there prognosticators. And predictably, more than a few rattled souls from different corners of the globe are rushing to empty their savings accounts and stockpile nonperishable food, guns, ammo, gas generators, and whatever other doomsday supplies they can get their hands on. Of course, the Mayan calendar predicting the end of times has probably been misread, and NASA insists there aren't any asteroids headed our way any time soon. But the philosophy of these so-called "preppers" is that you can never, ever be too careful. Here's how they're getting ready for the end of the world:

1. The man building Noah's Ark

Lu Zhenghai of China is sinking $160,000 of his life savings into a massive ship to ensure that he and his family are protected in the event of a worldwide flood. The house-sized ship is pretty substantial, too. At 65 feet long, it weighs about 80 tons, built mostly of timber and steel. It's unclear if there will be any animals taken onboard.

2. The man who built a nuclear shelter out of school busses

Bruce Beach, a 78-year-old former high school teacher living in Ontario, is no stranger to fallout shelters. He built his first in response to the Cuban missile crisis in the '60s. His life's work, a sprawling underground labyrinth nicknamed "Ark Two," was finished in the 1980s and is comprised of 42 underground school busses. Beach rents out rooms in Ark Two, and like most B&Bs, Ark Two rooms boast a kitchen, shower, and separate bunks for children and adults. "People have been in a panic because someone has prophesized the end of the world this particular week or whatever," he told the Canadian Press. "They call us up just to make sure we have space in the shelter and I tell them, "For sure, come on down."

3. The man building 3-ton steel balls

Not to be outdone by his ship-building countryman, 32-year-old Yang Zongfu of China has been building 3-ton yellow steel balls measuring 13 feet in diameter. The balls are hollow, and inside each there are seatbelts. They're designed to withstand a volcano, tsunami, earthquake, or nuclear meltdown. Yang calls each anti-disaster bubble "Atlantis."

4. The man who spent $130,000 on survival equipment

More than $130,000 of author Patrick Geryl's savings has gone into survival prep. In a small wooden bunker in South Africa (far away from the site of a potential nuclear meltdown), Geryl has stockpiled walls of guns, ammo, water purification tablets, and more, should the world need to be re-colonized. All of this is detailed in his tell-all book, How to Survive 2012. But with only two-and-a-half stars on Amazon, it's safe to say it probably won't make any best-seller lists come 2013.

5. The man who spent $350,000 on survival equipment

$130,000 is nothing! Australian marketer Robert Bast, 46, is the proprietor of a community called Survive2012.com, and has spent upwards of $350,000 stockpiling food, water, gas cookers, generators, and a pick-up truck to take his wife and three children to a safe house 1,500 feet above sea level. "What is certain is that in my lifetime, there is a strong likelihood that there will be a catastrophe of some kind," he tells CNN. "The sun destroying power grids, a flu pandemic that kills millions, an asteroid or meteor or comet striking earth, or a magnetic pole shift."

6. The couple stockpiling honey bees

A New England mom named Kathy Harrison prefers her other nickname: The "Doris Day of Doom." But rather than stockpile weapons and ammunition, Harrison and her husband are keeping something a bit unorthodox: Honey bees. "In a grid down situation those bees become not just food for us, but they become money that we can barter for," said Harrison. "Those bees are the essence of resilience for us."

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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