Monday, July 23, 2012

Dear Discovery.....

An open letter to the Discovery Channel.

Dear Discovery Channel;

Recently, my husband and I rented one of your programs from Netflix called "The Colony". Unfortunately, Netflix had mis-categorized the show, labeling it "Reality" when clearly it should have been categorized as "Comedy".  You may want to contact Netflix and have them remedy this oversight.

We did come across a couple of technical errors we thought you might want to be made aware of, for future reference, of course.

  • When fleeing a major metropolitan area in a post-apocalyptic world, no survivor in his/her right mind would hole up in an 85,000 square foot warehouse (made of tin - you could breach it with a can opener!).  For starters, a space that large is completely indefensible, not to mention tactically untenable.  
  • Random survivors would not ALL happen to be wearing scarves.
  • 1 Carp does not feed 10 people (with fillets) and nobody who is starving to death would think to make Orange Gravy to go over their rice.
  • Goats require fodder and fresh water in order to produce milk.
  • To make cheese, you must have rennet, which means there would be no more little goat (rennet is made from the stomach).
  • There is not a survivalist on earth who would think that building a "dirigible" (for aerial reconnaissance) was a good idea when they were starving to death.
  • Finding medications in a hospital after a plague, borders on the ridiculous.
  • Finding the materials to build an electric trike, an ozantor, a working phonograph, a Tesla coil, a solar tracker for a solar array, and enough battery clamps for 20 car batteries (both lead acid and gel cell, being charged together!) is not only highly unlikely but, quite frankly, is rather comedic.
  • Without a charge controller, the solar panels would have fried the batteries with the first full day of sun.
  • The "generator" (made from a pressure washer and two car alternators) was turning so slowly (not enough RPM's) that it wouldn't have created more than a few amps of power - never enough to charge the batteries (oh, and the pressure washer would not have been able to run one alternator at maximum output, let alone two).
  • You don't try to beat fish with a fish trap, rather you leave it in the river and let it catch fish that you then pick up on your next trip.
  • You can't just dump lye, lard and herbs into a pot and get soap (by the way, where did the lard come from?  Just wondering.).  You have to stir and stir and stir until the soap saponifies and then you must let it age, otherwise the lye will burn your skin.
At this point the whole thing starts to get pretty redundant.  We won't even cover the security issues, hygiene issues and other survival basics.  Suffice it to say, had this been a real TEOTWAWKI event, your colonist would have died, quickly and horribly.  Our 7 year old summed it up when, halfway through the first episode, she asked "What are they trying to do?".  I answered "they are trying to survive the end of the world".  She said "well, they are doing it wrong".  Out of the mouths of babes!

Although I am quite certain you meant for this show to be included in the comedy section, I thought I would bring these discrepancies to your attention just in case "The Colony" had been correctly classified as Reality T.V.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call me (again).

Yours very sincerely,

Enola Gay
Paratus Familia Blog


  1. ROFLOL!!! I needed a chuckle!


  2. I made it through one and a half episodes before I was laughing myself sick! I wish I could have warned you before you rented it. It was comedic...and pretty awful! I think they actually did two seasons of that show, different group of people each season.
    OH! And you can make rennet from thistles...if you know the right species and the right stage of development to use!

  3. Enola,

    (captaincrunch again)

    What I find disturbing is in all thease TV (Unreality) shows is the amount of arguing, petty squabbles, and personality conflicts.
    In real survival situations individuals are brought togather by trials of fire and shared hardships.
    I learned this first hand in the military. There were some individuals I could have struck in the head with a baseball bat when I was in the Navy, but when 1MC (ships intercom system) sounded off "General Quarters" followed by "This is Not a drill", it was all hands on deck and all attitudes were set aside to focus on the crisis at hand.
    You would be suprised at the kinds of people you can get along with when they have just saved your life or you just saved thiers. Bonds are forged, differences are forgotten (I think God may have written that in our DNA somehow as a survival mechanism)

    1. I think the personality conflicts shown are actually the best lessons of the show. You had better think about that, if you form a group.

  4. Yeah, I watched that show. What a joke. Trouble is....a lot of people now think that they'll be able to survive by doing the same.

  5. Every reality show I have seen (which is not many, and not for long) focuses on arguments and often manufactured personal conflicts instead of the supposed point of the show. Apparently the producers think we want to see arguments, conflict, and back stabbing - yet another reason to not watch TV!

  6. It's called a 'Reality' show because the people watching actually believe this stuff.
    Montana Guy

  7. thanks for the heads-up!

  8. I haven't seen it, but if it follows the same path as other(alternate?) "reality" shows, it's poorly staged, at best. A dirigible? Hey! they got that from "MacGyver"(in one episode he sewed/glued old parachutes together for a hot air balloon). The pressure washer here has a 5 H.P.motor, or about 3500 watts-theoretical(without looking it up, I think one H.P. is 746 watts). Probably 2700 in reality. It would run one small car alternator. An alternator needs a live battery to fire the field coils, or you get nada.If the alternator has an external voltage regulator,you would have to get it(and the connectors/harness as well) as well. Why build a trike? Find an old electric golf cart, or one of those electric scooters you see people riding around on in WalMart. Or ride a bike.
    In such a situation, a tin warehouse would wind up being salvaged for the sheet metal. The only way you can get by without a charge controller is if the solar panel is small enough to qualify as a trickle charger, but it would take forever to charge the batteries. Banks of batteries have to be matched, especially if connected in parallel, or series/parallel(the weak one will run the others down).
    Have you ever seen a reality show that came anywhere near reality?..I have-sort of, one called "Parking Wars"-the Parking Authority ticket-writers do get cussed like that. Graphically,and every day.

  9. I got through the first episode and thought I had better things to do with my time. I couldn't believe the things they were doing! Thanks for the chuckles!

  10. Wow are people that stupid? I guess so....I live in a heavily populated area of NC...I am in my mid 60's an have many health issues...No insurance and our family never had the guts to venture out and get prepared....I love the PACNW preppers stuff....Thanks for heeding what is going to be very hard for metro people who didn't heed....
    Thanks for the info that an help me get a bit prepared.
    God Bless
    Love from NC

  11. I watched a part of one, then never again. Unfortunately it is a slice of what society is like now. You see all of the arguments, petty, name calling, "alliances" (meaning who can I use until I can stab them in the back to win), is for ratings. If there isn't enough "drama" then people won't watch, it will be too boring then, just another soap opera. And lets not forget it is a game. They are there to "win" it. I wonder if all these years of Big Brother, Survivor and all the other "game" "reality" shows are conditioning those who watch them to react this way when it really is a matter of survival? So they will be too busy arguing and making "alliances" to be a threat to whomever is in power?

  12. Thanks so much for the laughs! Darn! I really should have gone to the bathroom before I read your post!

  13. I didn't see the show, but having read your letter I wanted to respond to one point. Soft cheese can be made without rennet; I have several recipies.

    1. Yes, I have made soft cheeses many times (having a cow, you get creative), however, even soft cheeses require something to encourage clabbering - vinegar, buttermilk, something. You don't just set milk on the counter and produce cheese.

  14. My Good Lady: I watched part of one segment... but tuned out when I watched them pound 60odd pounds of 'self lighting charcoal into dust for a water filter. I was kinda thinking that the starter fluid it was soaked in may leave somewhat of an after taste in everything but a toilet flush. Speaking of witch.... where was that stuff being 'stored'? XOXO Thomas T. Tinker

  15. LOL, funny you bring this up. A neighbor of mind and I were talking about "What if..." And he told me "Oh yeah I watched this show on TV (The Colony) and I feel I could make it." I aked him did you kow you will spend 99% of your waking hours just tryng to find food? His answer: Are you ready? "I'll just go down to the local stores and get mine." Now that my friend is priceless!

  16. LOL...loved your post. It made my husband and I laugh so hard because we too had these thoughts when we watched it. If you want more comedy watch the second Colony's more ridiculous. What floored me was the feministic rantings of the women on the show who whined about cooking and cleaning clothes and how horrible it was for a man to protect a women by pushing her out of harm's way. Only those who have meals waiting off set would say something so stupid. Thanks for a good post.

  17. Hi, I watched some of the series for a good laugh. I was laughing at the fact that they had something like 3 engineers, an ER nurse, a couple of fabricators, general contractor etc. What are the odds that all of those people would find refuge together. It would likly be 3 7-11 employees, a stay at home mom, a teacher, a mechanic and 4 fast food employees (although the latter group would probably survive). Great blog thank you and God Bless