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Don't be a sitting duck
June 9, 2008 11:05 PM   Subscribe

Subivor - People should have more protection than a necktie, their shirt or paper towel to cover their mouth, nose and eyes. They need Moist Towelettes too. [via]
posted by tellurian (41 comments total)

 
The HHGG had it right, innit?
posted by tachikaze at 11:13 PM on June 9, 2008


There's a profit to be made in keeping people afraid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh: The efficacy of this product is not guaranteed for persons with substantial facial hair.
posted by suedehead at 11:41 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh! “I thought we were going to sell out the first week”.
posted by tellurian at 11:52 PM on June 9, 2008


I am heartened to hear of his failure. Keep up the good work, NYC.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:00 AM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


That URL is particularly disconcerting for people named Ivor.
posted by bicyclefish at 12:00 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's every man for himself! The flashlight will be particularly helpful in clambering over those weaker, kit-less suckers to get to the exit.
posted by subgear at 12:04 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please remember to duct tape the mask firmly to your jowls!!*




*duct tape 29.99 per roll, in black, silver, blue, embossed pleather, nautical daydream, dogpark reverie, whimsicalifornication!!, kale
posted by maryh at 12:05 AM on June 10, 2008


For the delusional paranoid in your life!
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:08 AM on June 10, 2008


"Hewwo. I'b a subivor!"
posted by Jofus at 12:35 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


clambering over those weaker, kit-less suckers to get to the exit.

I read that as kilt-less and found myself nodding in agreement.
posted by hal9k at 12:40 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I read that as kilt-less and found myself nodding in agreement.

In a world where only the kilted survive, I would envy the dead.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:53 AM on June 10, 2008


PEPSIPANIC!!!1!

Though, actually? If you ride public transport/underground/rail a lot it's a pretty good idea to carry a small flashlight. How about a multitool instead of a prybar? Sure. Maybe even a small first aid kit, or maybe a couple pieces of candy or chocolate or something, just in case?

People commonly keep these things with them in their cars. You do have a first aid kit in your car, right? Maybe some tools? Water?

Though the Subivor pack is marketing to fear, rationally planning for emergencies isn't "delusional paranoia", it's forethought and being prepared. People who use mass transit as their main way of getting around should be prepared for delays, accidents or incidents just like car owners should be.

I have things like this in my bag. It's really functional and resourceful, and doesn't take up much space compared to all that tech cruft I carry around. Lately I've been thinking a simple dust mask and/or filter mask might not be a bad addition. But I grew up in earthquake country, and was a scout. But I'm not a hero. Me and my flashlight and first aid kit are only sticking around to help out only if my own life isn't currently being saved by it.
posted by loquacious at 12:58 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I won't have sex with women who use regular toilet paper. Because regular toilet paper just doesn't catch toxic smoke, concrete dust, influenza, smallpox, anthrax or fallout from a radioactive dirty bomb.

A woman needs to use some moist towelettes on her ass to get rid of that stuff.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:58 AM on June 10, 2008


Oh, sure, it would save your life but you'd look like a dork in the process, so... given the choice, I think most Americans would rather just die.

But yeah, the great thing is that if this device were the only thing separating you from dying a horrible death like rest of the people in the crowded New York subway station, everyone else would just politely just sit there and watch you make your casual escape without incident. Um, yeah.

It would be better if this device were camouflaged to look like a giant mass of foam oozing out of your mouth. That way you could scream and flail your arms as you slowly but surely stumbled your way out and everybody would clear out of the station to safety (and straight to the top of the triage list and a quick ambulance ride out of the area). So close...
posted by Davenhill at 1:03 AM on June 10, 2008


My flag pin will save me.
posted by Poolio at 1:37 AM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Personally, I never get on a subway without an NBC suit, tactical riot gear, a ballistic helmet, and a basic emergency supply kit.

You can never be too careful, what with death stalking us and all.
posted by moonbiter at 3:41 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"My flag pin will save me."

George Bush will save me (at least for a few more months, then I'm probably screwed big time!)
posted by HuronBob at 3:58 AM on June 10, 2008


"How much is your life worth?"

$24.99, it seems.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:53 AM on June 10, 2008


This is why, whenever I ride the subway, I'm continually scanning the boarding and disembarking passengers for that special woman who, though not necessarily the prettiest, looks like, in case of an emergency, she would totally be down for some OMGWEERGONNADIEsex.
posted by Eideteker at 5:10 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


People commonly keep these things with them in their cars. You do have a first aid kit in your car, right? Maybe some tools? Water?

No. No. And No.

I keep cigarettes in my car. If I've got no cigarettes, I'd rather be dead. If I have got cigarettes, I can face death with some degree of equanimity.

Till then, I plan on sitting around, smoking, waiting for the rescue services to come get me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:19 AM on June 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


How do you fit a 7" crowbar into a 6" bag?

Also, my pocket knife has a flashlight built in (Swiss Army USB penknife + LED light). The light has come in handy more often than I ever thought it would, and I've never been on a subway in my life.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:20 AM on June 10, 2008


WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE WHO:

Appear to be acting unusual or suspicious
Appear to be conducting surveillance using cameras and/or video
Appear to be acting lost or appear to be wandering
Abandon items then leave the area quickly


if someone looks lost, do not approach & or try to help them - contact the police immediately & tell them you saw a terrorist - they'll know what to do

also,

BE AWARE OF ITEMS OR DEVICES:

Appear to be hidden or abandoned
Are connected to wires
Appear to be releasing a mist, gas, vapor, or odor etc...


yes, please be on the lookout for hidden things - if you can't see a bomb, there's probably one right there! run!!!
posted by jammy at 5:21 AM on June 10, 2008


This has to be the most reprehensible marketing ploy, playing on the fears of NYC citizenry, I am aware of. Aside from the US government itself, is there a product marketed by an entity that exploits the fear of terrorism more?
posted by tellurian at 6:01 AM on June 10, 2008


Fox News?
posted by Dizzy at 7:06 AM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


A simpler solution is to carry nothing, then in the event of an emergency, find someone with a mask and punch them as hard as possible in the throat. Then take their mask.

This is the more sensible approach, because no matter what the emergency, there will be at least one person who is adequately and properly prepared for it. Your fist is like the all purpose tool that can conjure up whatever other equipment is necessary at just the right time. It works for money too.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:41 AM on June 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I carry stuff like this -- I always have a flashlight and a folding knife, among other things. I use one or the other pretty much daily; the former has gotten me out of a tough spot more than once (for example: I went out for a "small hike", went way overboard instead, and didn't make it back before dark). I keep a small first-aid kit in my commuter bag as well... I'll probably never use it to treat anything more serious than road rash, but it's worth having, since it weighs next to nothing and I have to haul the bag around anyway.

There is indeed profit to be made in keeping people afraid, and this particular product is crap ($30 for a paper painter's mask, moist towelettes, a tiny prybar, and a cheap flashlight?)... but there's profit to be made in keeping people confident and complacent, too. Real survival kits are worth thinking about.
posted by vorfeed at 8:26 AM on June 10, 2008


How do you fit a 7" crowbar into a 6" bag?
Diagonally.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:38 AM on June 10, 2008


vorfeed, did you look at that thinkgeek survival kit? It includes a stick of gum, a packet of sugar, a packet of salt, and a bullion cube. It also includes a Tootsie Roll. Apparently if I'm in a tight spot, the thing to do is to slip into a diabetic coma.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:40 AM on June 10, 2008


Here at work, we were issued Evac Packs a few years ago. Recently, we were issued new water packets, to replace the expired ones in the Evac Pack. While I was doing that, I noticed that the food bars and the light stick, too, were expired. But we have water. 1/2 liter of cool, sweet water. No moist towelettes, though--cheap bastards.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2008


ib's the eye of the tiber ib's the brill of the fighb
posted by dirtdirt at 9:02 AM on June 10, 2008


vorfeed, did you look at that thinkgeek survival kit? It includes a stick of gum, a packet of sugar, a packet of salt, and a bullion cube. It also includes a Tootsie Roll. Apparently if I'm in a tight spot, the thing to do is to slip into a diabetic coma.

Yes, I did look at that kit. In a kit of that size, it makes good sense to have sugar, salt, and bullion; not many things provide better emergency nutrition & energy for their weight. Same with the Tootsie Roll -- it's tiny, it's light, it provides calories. The gum is iffy, but then again, that's not a tremendously hardcore kit to begin with; it's meant to be something you buy once, throw in the pocket of your bag, and forget until you need it. Most of the pre-assembled kits of this size are not much better, and the better ones are usually a lot more expensive.

My point with that particular link is that you can buy something that's a lot smaller and a lot more useful than the Subivor, for a lot less. This one would probably have made a better link, but it costs a lot more.
posted by vorfeed at 9:23 AM on June 10, 2008


I thought this had to do with eating sub sandwiches and special bibs for that.
posted by parmanparman at 10:02 AM on June 10, 2008


To reiterate more clearly - that kit is crap and overpriced. You could put the same thing together for about $10-15 USD.

Pastabagel wrote: A simpler solution is to carry nothing, then in the event of an emergency, find someone with a mask and punch them as hard as possible in the throat. Then take their mask.

Good luck finding me in the dark and smoke without a flashlight, asshole. And even then, I'd like to see you try that with someone like me. You think paranoid well-prepared people haven't already thought about this possibility? Step one to surviving a mob during an emergency in a crowded place is to get the hell away from panicked crazy people. If you come at me all panicked, I'm not just going to stand there and ask if you're ok. And I'll bet you a beer that in that situation, assuming I can't simply outrun you I'll be kicking your ass first.

tellurian wrote: This has to be the most reprehensible marketing ploy, playing on the fears of NYC citizenry, I am aware of. Aside from the US government itself, is there a product marketed by an entity that exploits the fear of terrorism more?

There's hundreds of products that exploit that fear more. Guns, for example. Certain emergency food storage companies have been preying on fears of economic collapse/nuclear war/social upheaval for decades, long before 9/11.

Here's the thing, though. This isn't really about terrorism. There are all kinds of things that can happen that are accidents that are just as bad if not worse than some kind of terrorist attack. Trains derail, things catch fire, earthquakes happen, tsunamis happen.

Many of the comments in this thread that mock preparedness depress the fuck out of me.

Punch someone in the throat and steal their stuff? Really? What the hell is this, Lord of the Flies? Are you a mindless animal or a rational human being?

You know what looks really dorky? A bunch of helpless, stupid people standing around waiting for someone else to do something for them to save their lives. Don't assume that there's help on the way. Don't assume that your credit card or cash will let you buy your way out of trouble - because your cash and credit is going to be worthless if the network is down.

Don't assume. Be prepared. If you're not prepared to save your own life you're an inconsiderate asshole who expects someone else to risk their life to do it for them. Do you really feel so entitled? Screw you, pal. To borrow a known phrase from the paramedics and EMTs - you know, the bitter, sarcastic, overworked people you're so naively expecting to save your life - "you're on your own, motherfucker".


At the recent SF meetups some Mefites may have noticed my grey nerdpurse/gadget bag. It's not very big, and it doesn't weigh very much. Besides the electronics, I carry enough stuff in there that I could go camping for a couple of days. I even carry a few lengths of parachute cord and a compactly folded reflective mylar sheet for shelter - which can also be used for keeping shock victims warm and alive. I even have water purification tablets, a plastic Datrex/SOLAS emergency whistle and a metal signalling/shaving mirror. Heck, I have needle and thread, too. There's probably some zip-ties and some baling wire in there.

The thing is is that I've actually used most of it at one time or another because I like being able to take off on adventures. I've gone camping at the drop of a hat without even having to go home to pack for it, and I've done it in total comfort and style and with such resourcefulness that McGuyver sits down and starts taking notes. I've used the first aid kit so many times it's ridiculous, even if it's just "ow, I need a bandaid" or "do you have an aspirin?" I've fixed people's cars a handful of times with my tools and skills, too.

Is that dorky? Is that anal? Am I a big dorky anal boy scout? Probably. But I don't really care, because it's lots of fun, and it's a lot of peace of mind. I don't sit around fretting or worrying. I certainly don't let it get in the way of my life. I just do it. I don't even have to think about it.

But then, I'm exactly the kind of dork that will pack a soldering iron, some wire and some solder when going to a rave, because broken amplifiers, mixers and speakers are a buzzkill. Do you have any idea how many chicks that gets me when I keep the music and party going all night long, or I have a bandaid, safety pin or ibuprofen just when a cute girl needs it? The apples. How do you like them? Do you like them? I hope you do.
posted by loquacious at 10:03 AM on June 10, 2008 [53 favorites]


Have to chime in as I work for a transit agency and we have done extensive testing of escape hoods and none can protect you from all they things they claim to protect you from--which would lead me not to believe any of their claims.

In reality, short of a major catastrophe, the safest place to be in an emergency is onboard the train. If you stay onboard the train, you are somewhat protected from smoke (most fires are paper/debris in the trackway and aren't that big). You have the option of moving back a few cars if need be and we have the option of moving the train out of the danger zone.

Once you pop the doors it's a different story. Then the train is disabled and cannot be moved (until the doors are reset which can take awhile). If you self-evacuate, you don't know if the third rail is still live or not, and we won't be able to find you easily to help you get out of danger. We also won't be able to bring in a rescue train for fear of running over folks and because we'll have had to deactivate the third rail because folks are in the trackway.
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:05 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude, loquacious, can we just team up together and fight crime already? Or at least have dorky, existential adventures searching for the lost heart of America? Because I'd totally be down for that.

(To be fair, most of my survival gear is in my motorcycle tankbag, but it's seldom far from my reach. Mini-stove? Check. Waterproof matches? Check. Mylar sheet? Check. First-aid kit? Check. Nylon twine? Check. Pocket kite? Check. And I've always got my multitool, which, in a pinch, can be used to disassemble small government agencies or assemble large siege engines.)
posted by Eideteker at 11:06 AM on June 10, 2008


I think the owner of this company lives on my block. There are two cars on the block painted to be Subivor ads -- a Honda Civic and a Subaru Forester -- one of which features the word "ANTRAX" on the trunk. The threat of Antrax is pretty scary, indeed.

I got a Subivor-branded iPod nano case at the local video store, but it has protective rubber over the touchwheel and none over the screen so its pretty much the opposite of what I'd want.
posted by ben242 at 11:19 AM on June 10, 2008


one of which features the word "ANTRAX" on the trunk. The threat of Antrax is pretty scary, indeed.

I got a Subivor-branded iPod nano case at the local video store, but it has protective rubber over the touchwheel and none over the screen so its pretty much the opposite of what I'd want.


That. Is. Awesome. These guys are like the Bizarro World Survivalists or something -- having come from a parallel world in which topsy is turvy, they are ironically unfit for survival in our universe! Instead, they blunder helplessly, searching the subways for a way home, all the while clutching their small, blaze-orange prybars and moist towelettes.
posted by vorfeed at 11:43 AM on June 10, 2008


Eideteker, I now so very much want a pocket kite.
posted by tellurian at 3:55 PM on June 10, 2008


Punch someone in the throat and steal their stuff? Really?

No, not really. It was a joke. I think it's pretty obvious that if there was really some attack or bomb or whatever, I'd be perfectly safe and sound sixty stories up in a secure conference room saying "So, gentlemen, who do we pin this one on?"
posted by Pastabagel at 4:20 PM on June 10, 2008


Oh dear lord, I actually live with a dorky survival adventurist superhero. In addition to his work backpack which contains on any given night: one dinner, two drinks, three snacks, four novels and 5 electronics, various; he also has a tennis bag big enough to hold his pickle juice, three rackets, and blah blah; a bike trail work backpack; and a bike trail biking backpack. The latter has a compass, whistle, water, food, phone, flashlight, tools, spare inner tube, bits of chain, oil, goggles, bandaids, tecnu, insect spray, lighter, cigarettes, tape, and safety pins. I'm just grateful there is no subway in Raleigh.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:05 PM on June 10, 2008


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