Monday, June 27, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Second Plates For A Solar Flare

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Its a scorcher!! 

In the Book of Mormon there is a story about Nephi making a second record. He knows that most of what he is recording has already been recorded by his father, Lehi. He probably wondered why at the time, but obeyed anyway.  Well, the Lord knew that Lehi's record would get lost, so He (in His infinite wisdom) prepared away for the record to be preserved. 

Have you ever heard of a solar flare? They happen all the time on the face of the sun. Sometimes, they can actually cause "space weather" that can affect the little peeps of earth. 

So what does making a second record have to do with solar flares? Funny you should ask...

Once upon a time..."On the morning of September 1, 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington ascended into the private observatory attached to his country estate outside of London. After cranking open the dome’s shutter to reveal the clear blue sky, he pointed his brass telescope toward the sun and began to sketch a cluster of enormous dark spots that freckled its surface. Suddenly, Carrington spotted what he described as “two patches of intensely bright and white light” erupting from the sunspots. Five minutes later the fireballs vanished, but within hours their impact would be felt across the globe."
What happened was the strength of the "10 billion atomic bomb" solar flares had caused a magnetic storm and telegraph lines exploded and poles lit on fire and killed communication across the globe. I guess it could be compared to using a blow dryer and then stepping in the tub...and washing your hair with the blow-dryer in your hand...not a pretty picture. It created a geo-magnetic storm of which had never been seen before or since...but it could happen again. 

Even though telegraphs are an infantile system in comparison with our internet and electrical grid today, they were still used it for commerce and communication (including private messages). Our grid is still sensitive. If it were to all be blown successively like it was in 1859, many records could be lost forever. 

Think of all the sensitive information that could be lost if it happened again. What kinds of things do we use electronic storage for? It would typically have the same effect as an EMP...but it happens naturally.

  • Family pictures
  • Family videos
  • Genealogy charts
  • Draft records, marriage records, death records
  • School work
  • Scanned letters
  • Other important documents/ images
  • Financial information
  • Scanned/ typed journals
  • Etc.

Today I have spent a few hours updating a portable hard drive with this type of sensitive information from our computers. I typically do it every four months. We take lots of pictures so I don't want to loose any of them. If a solar flare hits I have something super easy that I have put together that costs little money and takes little effort. 

The instructions are found in this "Tip of the Week" -

So, lets say is still sounds too Sci-Fi and you still don't quite believe that solar flares exist and can cause damage to delicate electrical information...maybe you'll believe an article that is on NASA's website. :)

Even if a solar flare never shows its face and alters your life forever... there is another storm that could wipe out everything. Kids. 

A few months ago I had the impression to update my electronic files and I put it away. Not a week later my oldest son had learned that if there are too many things on your desktop it can slow your computer down. So as a favor (*cough*) he cleaned the desktop and even emptied the "recycle bin". Such a good boy. There were files on there that were gone forever. Luckily the week before, I had made a back up and was able to replace that information (not back on the desktop of course...). 

It is always a good idea to have back ups of all of these types of records. Nephi made a second set of plates and it has benefited generations of people because he listened and obeyed. That's pretty amazing.  

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