​The Orion constellation.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#find North, #direction, #by stars, #Orion, #Sirius, #navigation, #constellation.

Celestial navigators who do not use declination and right ascension begin their navigation by learning the various bright, easily identifiable constellations in the sky (There are no more than 10 to learn.).

The Orion is usually chosen to be the first constellation to be learned. The Orion is a bright, easily identifiable constellation of December. It stays in the sky of December for the whole night, attains its highest elevation (or altitude) about midnight and is right on the Celestial equator.
It has the size of 30 degree (in angle) and  has the shape of a waisted rectangle. Western sky watchers see a resembling to man in an armor vest and gave it the name Orion. Pacific sky watchers see its two brightest diagonal stars as the ends of a large stick in the sky.

It is never blinded by the Moon or any bright planet as the ecliptic is well away from it. As it is quite bright and has easily identifiable shape, it is usually used as the base (anchor marks) to start locating other stars.

1. The Orion on a Mercator sky-map.


Figure 1: The Orion constellation is right on the Celestial Equator and one third from the right edge of this Mercator sky-map.

The three dim stars in a straight line starting from the waist band and almost at right angle to it (not shown in this simplified Mercator sky map) are called the Dagger stars. The Dagger is at right angle to the Celestial equator and points along a great arc in the North to South direction on the Celestial sphere.

Rigel  or Beta Orionis is bright star at the South leading corner of the waisted rectangle. Betelgeuse is bright star at the North trailing corner of the waisted rectangle. Bellatrix is a less bright star on the North leading corner of the rectangle.

Rotating the line Betelgeuse – Rigel by 90 degree in the anti-clockwise direction gives the line Betelgeuse – Aldebaran, (Aldebaran is also called alpha Tauri).

Extending the line Bellatrix-Aldebaran by another 50% makes it reaches Pleiades group of stars (not shown on this simplified Mercator sky map). This group has millions of stars fitting within an area as small as the area of the Moon (The area is equal to that of a fingernail on a fully extended arm). Most people can see a brush shape made of 7 brightest stars of this group.

On the trailing side of Orion lies the brightest star in the sky. It is Sirius. Rigel -Betelgeuse  – Sirius form an almost equilateral triangle on the trailing side of the line Rigel – Betelgeuse.

Betelgeuse is the star of December 20th and the December solstice occurs on the 21st of December, on the following night .

The night when the brightest star Sirius attains its highest altitude at midnight is the first night of a new (Roman) calendar year (Is it a coincidence?).

2. Taking photos of the Orion.

Figure 2: Photo of the Orion Constellation taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The original photo has been digitally enhanced.

The Orion is quite bright and photo can be taken using a smart phone such as a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with no extra attachment.


[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars in the tropics, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars in the tropics, posted on May 25, 2016

[2]. tonytran2015, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars., posted on October 7, 2016

[3]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015


, posted on Circumpolar Stars Nth

The Scorpius constellation, posted on January 8, 2017


posted on October 21, 2016


Rice as emergency food, Using GPS in off-grid situations, Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.…..all.

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Rice as emergency food.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#survival, #food.

Rice takes up not much storage space. 5kg of rice is just a small bag. The bag can provide energy (carbohydrate) food to a 60kg person for about one week. The food still needs to be supplemented with protein food (meat, for muscles building) from other sources.

1.00Kg of raw rice turns into 2.56kg of cooked rice. That is the raw rice has only about one third of the weight of of the cooked meal.  It is easy to carry. All you need to turn any raw rice into cooked rice is just clear, fresh water and fuel to boil it for about 20 minutes (or 10 minutes using a pressure cooker).

Asian armies have been using rice as their transportable energy food since ancient time to present time. Those army people eat rice supplemented with locally picked vegetables and freshly caught fish or shrimps or meat as their sustainable full meals.

However you need to familiarize your digestive system with it to build up the enzymes for its efficient digestion. You can start this by eating one rice dish at restaurant to see how does your body get used to it. Have a least one rice dish each month to build up the digestive enzymes in your body.

Once your body has got used to digesting rice you can carry only a small weight of rice with you for camping trips and have no fear of starvation.

1. Cooking rice.

Use a deep cooker (its depth is more than half of its diameter). Place raw rice into it, to a height of no more than 1/4 of its depth. Add clean, clear water to the cooker until the water reach half its depth.

Keep the water simmer for about 15 minutes until there is no more water between the rice grains. Let the cooker stand for another 5 minutes to have rice grains fully softened.

You can now eat the cooked rice with other foods like green vegetable, fried eggs, cooked fish or meats.

2. Storage and stock rotation.

One single 5kg bag can feed you for one week. Keep the plastic bag intact and store it in a dry place (When stored in a dry place, a bag of rice can be kept for more than 2 years). Make sure that your stock is rotated and get neither more than 6 month old nor moldy.

3. Varieties of rice.

In South East Asia, where rice originates, the markets supply more than 20 types of rice.

As a consumer, you need to choose between only few main types:

Short grained rice (available in Australian or American supermarket)

Long grained rice (available in Australian or American supermarket) which is tastier and cost a little bit more.

(White) Sticky rice (also called glutinous rice, available only from Asian food stores and is more expensive) for cooking flavored sticky rice during festival time. The sticky rice is also used to make fermented Vietnamese sticky rice balls. The latter can also be left to be fully fermented and used to make Vietnamese Rice Wine (similar to Japanese Sake) of white colour.

Purple sticky rice has deep purple colour and is similar to White sticky rice, but produces Rice Wine of a different flavor and of deep purple colour.

White sticky rice has slim, fully opaque grains while ordinary rice has fat, translucent grains as in the pictures of the next section.

4. PRECAUTION against buying fake rice.

Real rice grains

Figure 1: Real rice grains (common variety bought from largest Australian supermarket Safeway on October 2016).

Real rice grains 2

Figure 2: Real rice grains (common variety bought from largest Australian supermarket Safeway on October 2016) from a different angle. Each grain has its individual size, characteristic shape and surface texture. You will see similar grains in your bag of genuine rice with a 10X magnifying glass or with a watch-maker glass, also called a watch-maker monocular.

Since you have rice as emergency food, you don’t want to have fake rice in your stock. You should only buy American or Australian grown rice sold through reputable supermarkets for your supply. When vigorously boiled in water, real rice will eventually dissolve to produce carbohydrates (sugar).

Fake rice has been rumored to be produced as a weapon of war to trick an enemy army into eating it and become weakened. There have been reports of fake rice made from plastic appearing in Asia and Africa. It has also been suspected to be made from potatoes powder added with industrial synthetic resins.

5. Testing for fake rice.

Author Nkem Ikeke [1] has a given the following series of six tests to spot fake rice.

1. The mortar and pestle test: If the powder gives yellow discoloration, it is fake.

2. The fire test: Get a lighter and burn a handful of rice. If it catches fire and smells like burnt plastic, it is fake rice.

3. The water test: Fake rice floats in water, real rice sinks.

4. The mold test: Boil the rice. Leave it in a warm place for like 2-3 days. If mold does not appear in a few days it is fake. Real rice get moldy very quickly

5. The boiling test: Observe the rice while boiling. If it starts forming a thick layer at the top of the pot, it is ‘plastic rice’.

6. The hot oil test: Drop some grain into some real hot oil. If it is plastic, it will melt or stick together or stick at the bottom of the pan.

The original article also has photos of real versus fake rice.


[1]. Nkem Ikeke, WARNING! 6 tests to help you spot fake rice, naij.com,
https://www.naij.com/1053229-warning-plastic-rice-floods-nigeria-heres-6-tests-help-determine-rice-fake.htm, updated 22 December, 2016.

[2]. ‘Plastic rice’ seized in Nigeria, bbc news, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38391998, 21 December 2016.

[3]. Nigerian officials row over ‘plastic rice’, bbc news, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38414337, 23 December 2016.

Relared HOW TO blogs:

Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance.




Using GPS in off-grid situations.

Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes.

Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.….all.

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Bankers given outrageous incomes by their boards.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia)

When looking at the ratios of incomes of directors to office workers of (Australian and probably American and English) banks you will notice something outrageous. I use the Australian figures but it is almost the same in all English speaking countries.


From the sources


it is seen that for the year of 2016, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has

Total Assets                           933,078,000,000
Total Liabilities                    872,322,000,000

>Net Asset                                60,646,000,000
Net Income (after Tax)            9,227,000,000
Common Stock                          34,129,000,000 shares

The ratio of Net Income After Tax to Net Asset is  9227/60646 = 15%  and is ordinary for banks. Yet the salary of the CEO, chief Ian Narev, is $12.3 million.


“Australian CEOs are paid 93 times average worker wages, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2014.”

“In a follow-up study in 2005, Prof Shields found that “the rise and rise of bank CEO pay is both performance insensitive and perverse”.”

see: http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2016/09/27/bank-ceo-pay/


“For the following year, a large proportion of bonuses for the CEO will be measured against performance on non-financial measures such as diversity and culture”, they “were “essentially HR policies” that were part of executives’ and the CEO day job.”

“Ownership Matters revised its recommendation to “against”that kind of payment”

see: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/financial-services/cba-slapped-with-first-strike-on-executive-pay/news-story/794f32fefd0e0b50524d8d8b0ff9ffef

“The first strike by share holders against the remuneration report only needed a 25 per cent protest vote, the rebels won an absolute majority with 51 per cent.”

“Some fund managers believe that non-financial hurdles are a load of bollocks. There was a feeling they (the executives) were being paid extra just for doing their jobs.”

At another Australian ANZ bank, “the remuneration report released this week shows former chief executive was paid all up around $90 million since 2007 for a strategy now being dismantled by his successor.”

see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-10/cba-remuneration-report-voted-down/8012454

“Under the “two strikes” rule, if a company receives two consecutive votes of more than 25 per cent against its remuneration report, it sparks another vote on whether to force the board to stand for re-election.”

see: http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/commbank-caves-in-to-pressure-pulls-plan-to-pay-ceo-ian-narev-a-culture-bonus-20161108-gsl2ly.html

“Historically, executive pay has not always been at the current controversial levels but has steadily increased since the mid-1970s, an increase which has continued after the global financial crisis.”

see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-28/australia-should-compare-ceo-and-average-worker-pay-like-the-us/7884240

So you see that bankers have been pampered too much.

(Notes: The office workers, tellers at banks are not called bankers, they are called office workers and the CEO pay is 93 times their average pays).

CASHLESS trading will only further enhance their positions and they love it.

(Added after Aug 2017) —> Cashless society requires everyone to have a bank account and the banks can charge them whatever kinds of fees. (See [2]).

 References (Added after Aug 2017)

[1]. https://astutenews.com/2016/11/17/war-on-cash-intensifies-citibank-to-stop-accepting-cash-at-some-branches/

[2]. https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/2560?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=advert&utm_campaign=18_8_2017_unfair&bucket=facebook-advert-18_8_2017_unfair


, Posted on December 15, 2016


Bankers given outrageous incomes by their boards, posted on December 22, 2016moneyd20.jpg

, posted on December 1, 2016

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Signs pointing to an impending crash for small investors.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

As a small investor (or gambler ?) you can also pick up the warning signs of an impending share crash.

To possess that ability a small investor has to have a realistic knowledge on how some listed companies crash and how such crash can generate a market wide crash. The signs are summarized in the following pictures.

1. Sufficient single causes of a crash of a single company:

2. Signs pointing to a market crash.



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Bankers earn more than interest margin on secured loans.

by tonytran2015(Melbourne, Australia)

1. How much does a bank pay you?

When you deposit $100 CASH for a fix 1 year term at your bank you may be paid back $105 at the end of the year.

2. How much does the bank actually earn?

Suppose that some Mr. A may want to obtain a secured loan of $100 from the bank. He can obtain it provided he agrees that the bank can sell his $2000 motor-bike to get back its money if he does not repay the loan as agreed. Usually the bank charges Mr. A an interest of $5+$2 for 1 year loan. The bank bears no risk and they say that the extra $2 is their only profit.It does not actually give cash to Mr.A, but allows him to use something like a personal cheque book so that he can write cheques to pay others of up to $100.

Actually for each $100 of cash deposited, the bank makes 10 loans of that type to Mr.A. Each of the loan has its own security and is risk free. The total value of loans they give is thus 10×$100=$1000. (The ratio of deposited money over loan is typically 1 to 10 but it varies from country to country). The bank can do it as people usually just pass the personal cheques around like a kind of actual money, deposit them into their bank accounts and only 1 in 10 people actually demands cash from the cheque after a while!

The ratio of 1 to 10 is based on their average of millions of customers.

The different scenarios are given in the following.

If Mr.A borrows $100 cash from the bank and enjoys spending it then the bank makes $5+$2=$7 interest on the cash loan to him while it has to pay you $5 on interest and it only makes $2 as it claims.

But if Mr. A uses his cheque book then the bank can keep making other loans as long as the total value of the loans does not exceed 10 times the cash value it is holding. The following calculation shows how much the bank can make if the cash money stays with it for 1 year:

So the bank has 10 secured loans and earns 10×($5+$2)=$70. Its costs are only $5 interest payment to you, branch expenses and the salaries of its employees.
The worst case for the bank happens when all 10 out of 10 receivers of those personal cheques use them all for 1 year fix term deposits in the bank. In this case the bank pays out 11×($5)=$55 on deposit interests and collect 10×{$5+$2)=$70 on loan interests, and the margin of $2 takes on its meaning. However, this worst case rarely happens and even then the bank still makes $15 profit.

3. No bad debt problem.
In rough time such as during recession, maybe 10 out of 10 want to present every cheque to get real cash money. In such a case, the government would step in to limit cash withdrawals from banks to give banks time to disengage from their loans (This is a liquidity problem, not a bad debt problem).

Now you can see the real reason why India and a number of other countries simultaneously don’t want people to demand cash. They actually want to help their bankers (or banksters?) and may be preparing their economies for their own BIG DEPRESSIONS.

4. It is a nice earning hidden behind the claim of earning only $2 margin on your money! 

This is why bankers are so rich.

In theory, when people don’t withdraw cash, the bank has the capability to reduce their interest on secured loans down to ($5+$2)/10=$0.7!



Demonetizing in India robs the poor.

Preparing for cashless trading.

Cashless and negative interest go hand in hand.


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Can most pension funds last?

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).
When a pension fund with legislated rates of pay out operates in a negative interest environment, its fund is bound to be depleted.

You have to ask how can it have money to pay out at the legislated (high positive) rates. It can only do that if it is injected with goverment printed fiat money or if it has an ever expanding number of subscribers (a type of Ponzi scheme).

The stop on  payouts by Dallas police fire pension board is no surprise. It is only the tip of the iceberg.

In general, negative interest rates have revealed the unsustainability of many pension plans with legislated rates of payout.

References (augmented after 09 April 2017)

[1]. Dallas police fire pension board ends run, bank stops 154m withdrawals. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-city-hall/2016/12/08/dallas-police-fire-pension-board-ends-run-bank-stops-154m-withdrawals, 18 Dec 2016.
[2]. Wkchild, Warning: US ponzi-retirement-market in big trouble, protect with precious metals – SRSRocco Report by Steve St. Angelo, sentinelblog.com, https://sentinelblog.com/2017/03/30/warning-u-s-ponzi-retirement-market-in-big-trouble-protect-with-precious-metals/, 30 March 2017.
[3]. SRSRocco, Warning: US ponzi-retirement-market in big trouble, protect with precious metals – SRSRocco Report by Steve St. Angelo, Economy, Precious Metals, https://srsroccoreport.com/warning-u-s-ponzi-retirement-market-in-big-trouble-protect-with-precious-metals/, 28 Mar 2017.
[4]. The next crisis is the mother of all counter party risks part1, US issues, https://us-issues.com/2017/04/09/the-next-crisis-is-the-mother-of-all-counter-party-risks-part-1/, 09 April 2017. 

Augmented after 2017 June 11:

[5]. https://us-issues.com/2017/06/11/how-gold-can-rescue-pensions/.

[6]. https://news.sky.com/story/revealed-carillion-collapsed-with-5bn-of-financial-liabilities-11213303

[7]. https://straightlinelogic.com/2018/01/20/another-ponzi-exposed-as-long-term-care-insurers-double-premiums-to-stave-off-losses-by-tyler-durden/

[8]. http://us-issues.com/2018/02/05/illinois-debt-crisis-foreshadows-americas-financial-future/

[9]. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/an-obscure-court-decision-against-a-rhode-island-towns-police-officers-and-firefighters-could-be-a-warning-sign-for-social-security/ar-BBIQf5o?li=BBnb7Kz


Gold for storing wealth, posted on 28 April 2017

  , posted September 22, 2017


A satirical guide to signs of an impending crash for small investorsYour fiat money (Part 2)Your fiat moneyBankers given outrageous incomes by their boardsSigns pointing to an impending crash for small investors,Bankers earn more than interest margin on secured loansCan most pension funds last?

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Cashless and negative interest go hand in hand.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).
There seems to be a synchronized war against cash: India, France, Spain…

At the same time there is also a trend to have negative interest rates in many countries.

The two seem to depend on each other: Without cash, you have to park your money in banks to suffer negative interests.

People should wonder that the war on cash is actually just a way to recapitalize banks by people’s money and force people to accept negative interest rates.

This will also open the floodgate to exorbitant bank fees and government duties on money movement.

People may also suspect that this is part of a plot by Globalists. They may plan a three pronged attack on the free American people:

1. They take the guns from free Americans.

2. They silence them.

3. They take their wealth and cash from them to control their activities.

The end result is free Americans will become their slaves.

Update 2016Dec12: Venezuela also demonetize its highest denomination bills. People have 72 hours to change to the new bills.

Euro stop printing 500Euro notes from 2018. Japan and Singapore have been orderly withdrawing their highest denomination notes.




[1]. tonytran2015, Preparing for cashless trading


[2]. tonytran2015, Negative interest rate is not new


[3]. reclaimourrepublic, The secret meeting that accelerated the war on cash



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Using GPS in off-grid situations.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#find North, #tine #GPS, #GPS altitude, #GPS coordinates, #GPS navigation, #off grid, #topographic map, #longitude, #latitude,
Locating where you are using the internet is great but there are times when you have no mean to connect to the internet and you have to use GPS for positioning without any assistance via the internet.

Such a situation may arise when you have no internet coverage such as when going hiking.

This posting shows how to do it with minimum battery use.

1. Requirements:

a. A phone with GPS hardware preferably with back up battery or re-charger.

b. A procedure to minimize battery usage.

c. A map with longitude and latitude coordinates printed on paper or stored in the phone (Section 8 will show how to draw those lines on any paper map).

d. An optional software to display your position on the map.

Map with Coordinates

Figure: Openstreetmap for Melbourne with added cooodinates. Map has been modified from original map used under Open License from Open Street Map, the data are owned by Open Street Map Contributors.

2. Selecting a phone with good off-grid GPS capability.

I would choose one that can quickly obtain an accurate GPS value from cold start. Different phoneMarkingsand GPS apps have different sensitivities, algorithms and accuracy.

Compass app and barometer app are highly desirable additions on such a phone.

Compass app using magnetic sensors gives you the direction without having to move at speed to obtain the deduced True North.(GPS apps obtain True North using solely the tiny increments from GPS coordinates). You should know how to calibrate a magnetic compass app by the figure 8 motion.

Barometer app gives your accurate altitude change if you need that value for working out your position using angles and changes in altitude. Barometer app can also warn you of developing severe weather.


3. Two different pieces of hardware can give out two different GPS readings.

The following are the readings from two different smart phones placed in one place. The readings have differences of about 4m in distances in both longitude and latitude directions. (Each minute of latitude angle is one nautical mile, and each second of latitude distance is about 3m in length).

Fig 1&2: Readings from the first smart phone.

Fig 3&4: Readings from the second smart phone running the same app at the same place!

The hardware is guaranteed to give you only some accuracy. My two smart phones seem to have horizontal accuracy values of no better than 4m. Their vertical accuracy values are not better than 10m.

4. A single point may correspond to different latitude and altitude values depending on the different base surfaces used for mean sea level.

Remember that the earth is not a perfect sphere. Its rotation and non-uniform interior density creates its non-spherical surface at sea level. Vertical lines do NOT converge at the center of the earth but are only the lines at right angle to the local sea surface. The latitude and longitude of a point as determined by sextants only give the direction of its vertical line, not the intercept between the non-spherical surface and a line from the center of the earth pointing in that direction!

With that idea in mind, it is clear that a single point in space may have different latitude and altitude values depending on different type of non-spherical surface used for mean sea level.
So you should choose apps with a widely accepted base surface (such as WGS84) so that their latitude and altitude values are readily interchangeable.

Figure 5,6: Reading from GPS Test (1.3.2).

Fig 7: Reading from GPS Status (5.3.112) on the same smart phone.  The two apps give matching readings.

5. When communicating your coordinates with others, you may have to mention the name and version number of your GPS app or the type of base surface in use!

For the same reason, the 3D coordinates from your GPS apps may be inconsistent with the published coordinates of international airports or the land marks on your trips.

Any map with GPS capability such as Googlemap should be already compatible with its GPS in use.

6. Using AGPS updates to save battery.

The phone app can only listen to one GPS satellite at a time. There are many of them and only four clearest transmissions are useful (The others are either out of view or do not provide positional precision). To listen to every transmission and select the clearest four takes time. Then starting from the far off position will take a lot of time for the calculation algorithm to arrive at the correct GPS position.

Remember that the more time you have to wait for a GPS fix the more you run down your battery.

AGPS (Assisted GPS) provides the app with the list of the best transmissions to listen to (from your approximate position) and the algorithm will begin from your approximate position. You will save a lot of time and battery. Choose a GPS app with off-line AGPS update as your principal GPS app.

7. Procedures to use GPS apps

a/- Beware of the high battery usage by GPS hardware.

b/- Run your magnetic compass calibration apps if you think that compass directions may be required.

c/- Run your principal GPS app (with off-line AGPS update capability). Once a fix has been obtained update its AGPS immediately; this saves battery on future fixes.

d/- Run any other GPS apps with your desired features (such as inclination, altitude, magnetic heading, light meter, etc…) immediately after the principal one. The hardware can continue from the values previously obtained by your principal GPS app.

e/- TURN OFF the GPS hardware.

f/- Relate your GPS position to the coordinates (longitude and latitude and possibly with altitude)  on the printed map or the map stored in your phone.

g/- Know the horizontal and vertical error of each fix to know your PROBABLE position.

h/- Turn off the phone or put it in stand-by mode to save battery.

8. Making a map graduated with Longitude and Latitude Lines. 

1. Choose a map with your required resolution and range. The resolution differs for different application: For city street maps resolution should be better than 2m, for country town maps, resolurion only need to be better than 5m as houses are widely separated, for touring, exploring maps, resolution can be upto the (1/10) of the visual range, etc…

Figure: Openstreetmap for Melbourne with 3 airport landmarks. Map is used under Open License from Open Street Map, the data are owned by Open Street Map Contributors.

2. On that map, find some unmistakable features such as a well known Airport or Helipad, a Light House, a TV Transmission Tower, a Town Hall, Churches, Schools, Cottages in a forrest, sharply defined mountain peaks, trail intersections… with known longitudes and latitudes. Their coordinates are usually given on the Internet or or easily extracted from Google Map or Navigating Apps.
Find four such fearures located near the four extreme corners of your map. They will be used as your four land marks.


The 3 landmarks in use here are:

a. Melbourne Tullamarine airport, Elevation AMSL 434 ft / 132 m, Coordinates 37°40′24″S 144°50′36″E

b. Melbourne Moorabin airport, Elevation AMSL 50 ft / 15 m, Coordinates 37°58′33″S 145°06′08″E

c. Melbourne Essendon airport, Elevation AMSL 282 ft / 86 m, Coordinates 37°43′41″S 144°54′07″E

3. On a separate fresh sheet of paper make a coordinate grid of longitude and latitude covering your range.
On this sheet with grid but no map, mark the coordinates of your four land marks.

Figure: Melbourne Tullamarine and Moorabin airports on a grid map.

4. Check that the shape of the quadrilaleral formed by the four land marks is similar in both the grid sheet and the map. You map have to stretch  or shrink the grid vertically and then horizontally to have a fit. The quadrilaterals should be similar if no mistakes have been made. If the shapes are similar you can proceed to the next step.

5a, If the map and grid are both digital, they can be superimposed to produce the final map:

Figure: Openstreetmap for Melbourne with added cooodinates. Map has been modified from original map used under Open License from Open Street Map, the data are owned by Open Street Map Contributors.

5b. If you are using printed map: Join two distant landmarks on the coordinate sheet and notice where the lines of “second of longititude” and of “second of latitude” intersect it

6. Reproduce that line, with all its intersecting points, on the actual map.

7. From these intersecting points project corresponding vertical lines to make the  “second of longititude” lines and horizontal lines to make “second of latitude” lines.

8. Your map is now graduated with longitude and laritude lines.

9. Using GPS with maps. 

I prefer to use topographic maps with old fashioned land marks (such as churches, tall towers …). Topographic maps give the additional constant ground altitude contours (relative to some mean sea level surface). Constant altitude curves are the faint brown curves on the map illustrated here. The height of each contour is given by a small number. The altitude values of 20m and 10m have been highlighted in this example map by two red circles.


Figure: Opentopomap for the area in my test. Map is used under Open License from Open Street Map, the data are owned by Open Street Map Contributors.

If you want to use your GPS with any map, you need to draw on top of it an accurate system of regularly spaced longitude and latitude coordinate lines as instructed in Section 8.

You can download a topological map of your area to practice drawing the coordinate lines, the constant altitude lines and learn about the accuracy of the values of longitude, latitude and altitude given by your GPS apps.

10. Integrated GPS and map apps.

GoogleMap is one such app. It automatically supply you with a map and works out your position from its included GPS. It is great when you are connected. Some old versions of Googlemap allow you to store a map of an area of about 30kmX30km for off-grid use. I don’t know if you can store maps for much larger areas.

I would keep a printed map with coordinates for back up when going off-grid since I would not put everything into one smart phone.


11. Error from GPS is rare but not impossible.

As with anything, continuity (or consistency) of readings must always be applied to check for any sudden error arising. It has been reported by BBC news that during the decommission of the GPS satellite SVN23, “some GPS positioning would have been thrown off by nearly 4km.”.



[1]. tonytran2015, Measuring angles and distances for outdoor survival, survivaltricks.wordpress.com,

https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/measuring-angles-and-distances-for-outdoor-survival/, posted 29/6/2016.

[2]. tonytran2015, Selecting and using magnetic compasses, survivaltricks.wordpress.com,

https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/selecting-and-using-magnetic-compasses/, posted 09/7/2016.

[3]. , BBC News, UK radio disturbance caused by satellite network bug,

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35463347, 2 February 2016.


Finding North with a lensatic compass, posted on August 21, 2017


, posted on ,

Circumpolar Stars Nth

Shadow stick navigation and graph of solar paths, posted on August 19, 2016

Find North by Shadow Stick

Using GPS in off-grid situations., posted December 6, 2016

Adding longitude and latitude lines to a map, posted August 23, 2017

map with longitudes n latitudes

Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted on January 17, 2017,

radio sony

Finding North direction and time using geological features, plants and animals, posted on August 04, 2017,

find North by moss


Finding North with a lensatic compass, posted on August 21, 2017

Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes.

Identifying moderately bright navigational stars.

Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.


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Preparing for ​cashless trading.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Cashless trading may come after the collapse of the ruling government or even when declared or indirectly created by the goverment. To survive, you need to be prepared.

When you have no cash and you want to pay someone 5 dollars worth of goods. You can:

1. Write a personal cheque. If it bounces then both the issuer (you) and the receiver who deposits it at a bank lose on the huge bank fines (commonly between 10 and 50 dollars, in Australia) for using a dishonoured (bounced) cheque. Who risks taking it?

2. Buy a Bank cheque of 5 dollars with an additional bank fee of about 7 dollars to pay the other party. This advertizes your status !

3. Use your credit card and submit to the torturous financial rules on paying HUGE FEES and FINES to the credit card company. This usually results in you paying the average price of about 0.5 dollars for using their “convenience”. If you violate any of their torturous “rules” you may lose up to one month (it can also grow to one year) of income if you are in a poor country!

4. If you have been trapped with buying useless things by credit cards, you have to pay the debt off before you can continue to use the credit cards. You do not have the right to wait for the rulings of Courts and Consumer Protection Organizations on the validity of the debts.

5. Form your own bartering group or join some existing ones and settle your owings on your payday.

6. Do direct bartering using locally produced goods and needed items. For examples, five lemons or five oranges or two chicken eggs for one dollar, a spark plug for 2 dollars etc…Bartering items are to be valued close to their current cash prices.

7. Use gold, silver, copper rings of known weights made by reputable local jewelers as precious metal standard local currencies.

8. If gold can be legally owned, it is the best cashless trading medium.

Figure: Vietnamese gold slabs for trading.

However, gold user should know that their governments may suddenly take away their gold [6].

The future does not hold bright for poor Indians at this moment. If the government can demonetize once, they will do it again and again. 

References (updated Feb 03, 2017)

[1]. India rupee ban: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh rubbishes Modi crackdown, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38088177, 24 November 2016.

[2]. Neha Sharma and Shalu Yadav, The Indian village that has returned to bartering, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38180075, 5 December 2016.

[3]. Patrick Bodenham, Will Spain’s coal belt survive through online barter?, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38731808, 2 February 2017

[4]. James Melik, Haggling and bartering gain appeal, BBC News Services, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7883050.stm, 12 February 2009.

[5]. Mark Lowen, Greece bartering system popular in Volos, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17680904, 12 April 2012.

[6]. https://mishtalk.com/2017/08/16/india-bans-gold-exports-without-a-valid-reason/



Gold for storing wealth, posted on 28 April 2017

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Negative interest rate is not new.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).
People are surprised that central banks now charge them for keeping their money. They should not if they look back into the past and they should know how to live with negative interest rate.

1. Negative interest is not new

In agricultural economies, workers had been paid by fruits and food, which have expiry dates. The wisdom in those times was and still IS “use it up and don’t let it perish”.

Then came the concept of lending for an interest, for example “You can borrow my hammer for a week but at the end you should give me a box of nails”.

So, the concept of negative interest is not an upside down idea from central bankers, it only means that the people around you cannot use your capital for any worthwhile productive venture or are not prepared to share the benefit from that venture with you.

In my own observation, when people around you run out of business opportunities the (much hyped) share markets will have to come down to reconnect to reality. So negative interest rate may be a warning sign of a possible share market tumbling. (Form your own judgement, the opinion expressed here is NOT ANY FINANCIAL ADVICE).

2. Living with negative interest rates and regain POSITIVE INCOMES.

Our fore-parents already knew how to live with perishable goods without touching any cash. Their method is:

1. Barter one type of perishable goods for another type that perishes more slowly. If possible, aim to go to step 3.

2. Use surplus perishable food to farm animals (chicken, pigs) and barter the grown animals (after some months) for other non-perishable goodies.

3. If possible barter the animals and non-perishable goodies for low maintenance, consistently desirable goodies such as gold, cloth making materials, household tools, house furnitures, house construction materials, and store them for gradual consumption or for future bartering.
It is your job to apply their ideas to your tough time in this modern economy.

4. Set up the household tools in a room like a workshop and let your neighbours use them for payment in desirable goodies: You can use my tools to repair your chairs but I must be paid with some of your home produced chicken eggs. 

Following this strategy, you can REGAIN earning positive incomes from your capital in the NATURAL WAY !
Good luck.

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