Urban Scout mythmedia.org

Whether it's the bird flu or the oil peak, you've got to be ready for the oncoming apocalypse. You might've seen Urban Scout around town with his art collective, carrying signs and eating roadkill, and he recommends you prepare yourselves too:

Eat wild plants: "Gardening is great, but there's already edible food out there. You can even eat a dandelion. It's like a multi-vitamin, and kinda coffee-like at the root."

Stockpile alcohol/cigarettes: "They will come in use as a profitable trade item, as well as being a suitable substitute for antidepressants."

Discover fire: "Learning friction fire isn't that hard, and you can impress your friends at parties (that's how most of my survival skills have come in handy)."

Kick the carbs: "Not only will you need to be in tip-top shape, but the withdrawal of complex carbs will be devastating [to those who aren't prepared]."

• Get a gun: "If you're stockpiling, you need to defend your goodies—know how to use it too, because it's not as easy as it looks."

Stephanie Gray portlandroommate.com

Everybody's got a nightmare to tell about a roommate from the depths of hell. But, hiring Stephanie to assist you in finding one will help avoid the bad apples. Here are her roommate-finding tips:

• Secrets are a bad sign: "Best to pass if someone won't tell you what he or she does for a job—or does during the day, for that matter."

The big problems: "Confrontations usually occur when these things collide: studying/partying, smoker/nonsmoker, morning person/night owl, and philosophy of pet care."

Always put it in ink: "When you find your roommate, whether a good friend or new acquaintance, create and sign rental and roommate agreements."

Never ever lend money: "Don't loan deposit, rent, or utility money to roommates."

Try these sites: "Nolo.com is a great resource for rights and disputes, and oregonlawhelp.org has everything there is to know about housing laws."