The first of thirty-three Chilean miners trapped half a mile underground in a gold and copper mine for the last 68 days could be free tomorrow, barring technical complications. Safety runs of the rescue capsule that will bring the men individually up through a roughly 2,000-foot tunnel are planned for today.
This is great news—it's amazing that they've survived this long. Especially when you read the details of what they've been through the last few months—their ordeal sounds less like reality and more like hallucinations of the doomed. For instance, they've been sending letters a half-mile up to the surface to their wives. They've had lawyers dropping documents down the shaft to ensure they equally profit from media and endorsement deals for beer, mining equipment, and sex-aid vitamins.
They've also shunned each other and taken vows of silence never to speak of their first few weeks underground. Via the Telegraph:
It has emerged that in the early days of being trapped five of the men had formed a breakaway group after becoming isolated from the rest because of their status as “subcontracted workers”.
“It seems they were treated as second class citizens within the refuge,” a source within the rescue team told Chilean national newspaper El Mercurio. “Actually they were marginalised and had set up camp in another part of the mine, away from the rest of the group.”
Psychologists on the surface had to come up with a strategy to overcome the divisions within the group.
“It was important to have them all working together as a team,” said Alberto Iturra, the chief psychologist at the mine, confirming that there had been a split. “I don’t exactly know what occurred between them but the most important thing is the problem was resolved. The system we used worked and since then they have been operating well as a team.”
It is understood that the men have vowed never to talk about exactly what went on during the 17 initial days after the mine collapsed and before a borehole reached their refuge and rescuers found them alive.
Now you do! This week Questionland is all about the great outdoors—day trips, fly fishing, camping, hiking—and Rev. Smith asked for some expert advice on what to do should he ever come face to face with a bear.
If it's a black bear- DO NOT play dead. They are scavengers and will continue to come after you, even if you don't seem to pose a threat. You want to wave your arms in the air and make as much noise as possible. They will run if they think that you are a threat. They will try to eat you if they think that you are a free snack. You are more likely to encounter a black bear than a brown or grizzly.
If it's a brown bear- your best bet is to play dead. They will fight back when provoked or threatened and generally have no interest in "dead" prey.
All of these rules are thrown out the window if you come between a sow and a cub. You are more or less just fucked. Your best chance of survival is to roll into a ball and cover your head and neck with your arms.
One of our resident experts, Dan Moore (owner of EverGreen Escapes) also had some smart suggestions:
It is true that when you are being attacked by a bear you need to play dead. This proves you are not a threat. If you are continued to be bitten though, it means the bear is thinking you are food. That is when you fight your ass off.
For grizzlies, pepper spray is required gear to carry with you. It has been proven more effective then guns.
Prevention is the best medicine. Don't attract bears and know how to avoid them. Learn what bear signs look like (tracks, scat, fur, etc). I've hiked and lived in bear country for many years. I've seen black bears in my camp only a couple times. These techniques have worked for me and thankfully I've not ever been in danger. The odds are in your favor. Just be smart.
Read even more about what to do if a bear attacks here! Questionland—it can save your fuckin' ass.
Hymenoclea salsola is a flowering plant in the daisy family known by several common names, including white burrobrush, cheesebush, and desert pearl. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is a common plant of the local deserts, where it thrives on sandy soil, alkaline environments, and disturbed sites. This is a perennial shrub which forms a sprawling bush up to eight feet high. It has thin branches and narrow, needlelike leaves. The foliage has a pungent cheeselike scent when crushed, a trait which gives the plant the common name "cheesebush". It is covered in plentiful white or yellow flowers and then pearly, winged fruits in white, yellow, or pink. This species easily hybridizes with the common ragweed species Ambrosia dumosa.
Hey everybody, remember this Strangercrombie item, the one in which my crazy dad takes the winning bidder and a friend up in an airplane all Top Gun style and and then they buzz the control tower for kicks? Well, here is some footage of buzzing Mt. Rainier on that flight, which I WASN'T EVEN INVITED TO GO ON.
Know what happened to my crazy dad after this? He got the stomach flu. That's what happens when you don't invite me to stuff.
All photos by Benjamin and/or Bri H.
Anyway, after the cut is footage of the landing. He didn't even crash land this time! (Boring.) Also, some more lovely photos.
A friend tipped me off about this post at Arthur, which likens the successful uprising of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) against two governments, (Papua New Guinea, and Australia) a division of mercenaries, and a giant mining corporation to the story of Avatar. It's a great parallel, and for this you don't need $20 or 3-D glasses or any of that shit.
Here's the first five minutes or so of The Coconut Revolution, which documents the BRA and the Bougavillians. It's not on Netfilx, and Scarecrow doesn't have it, but you can watch the whole thing here. You can also apparently buy it here. Not to take away from the first five minutes, but you should watch further in to get to some amazing-type stuff. Maybe wait until your boss takes his two-hour lunch or something. These dudes started out fighting helicopters and guns with bows and arrows, then got trapped with a gunboat blockade around the island, and they still came out on top. Look at how they make fuel. Look at how the leader carries two machine guns even though one of his arms is all fucked up. Look at the shot of a kid carrying a rifle past a long-ago sabotaged earth mover. I want to join these people.
Here is some text quoted from somewhere:
This is an incredible modern-day story of a native people’s victory over Western globalization. Sick of seeing their environment ruined and their people exploited by the Panguna Mine, the Pacific island of Bougainville rose up against the giant mining corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc. The newly formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) began fighting with bows and arrows and sticks and stones against a heavily armed adversary. In an attempt to put down the rebellion the Papua New Guinean Army swiftly established a gunboat blockade around the island, backed by Australian Military personnel and equipment. With no shipments allowed in or out of the island, the People of Bougainville learned to become self-dependent and self-sustained.
You swoon for roller skates. You pine to see gay couples rollerskating down the aisle to get married. And—let's be honest—you like an excuse to celebrate Wednesday with a martini or six. Well, sweet trinity on ball bearings, it's all coming together at the Paramount for a special production of Xanadu.
This attend-or-die show benefits Equal Rights Washington, a group more deserving of your dough than a church's communion bread oven. This past summer and fall, ERW activated its huge network to help pass R-71. There's no way R-71 would have been approved without them... and without ERW remaining strong, there's no way Washington state will have a shot at upholding full marriage equality, if it ever comes to a vote. So it's worth spending $99 for a ticket for those reasons alone.
But that's not all! Dan Savage will be your host, before and after the show. And do you know how hard it is to get that man on stage? SHY! And reserved. (And generally reticent to discuss sex.) There's also a post-funk at Chapel with the Xanadu cast and Mr. Savage for people who bought the $99 tickets. The Paramount. Wednesday night. January 20. Show at 7:00 p.m. Holly rollers! Gay!
Officials say they don't know what's happening to the octopuses, but it might have something to do with the mini-tornado that ripped up some roofs in the area a few days ago.
Octopuses typically die of senescence—they have sex once, then their minds and bodies slowly fall apart. They stop eating, stop avoiding predators, and sometimes chew off their own arms. As Dr. Roland Anderson, a local octopus expert, likes to say: "There's no such thing as safe sex for octopuses." Maybe there's some mass, M. Night Shyamalan-style senescence happening off the coast of Portugal.
Maybe this is just the beginning...
Second: Portland's Greek Cuisina (home of an iconic purple octopus) will close, citing punitive and costly fire inspections by the city.
Good old Daniel Ayres of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife—he's the Cliff Mass of shellfish-hunting—has declared this weekend safe for clamming. (Populations are healthy, toxins are absent or tiny.)
The low tides this season are perfect for dinnertime:
Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
Last time I went, we were up before dawn with an army of other flashlight-carrying clammers staggering around like a pack of zombies. Snow fell on the beach (in April) but galoshing back to the beachside hotel room and frying up the clams in butter and garlic and having them with a small glass of wine was the best breakfast in recent memory—anyone's recent memory.
Razor clamming has also inspired one of my favorite parentheticals in Bar Exam:
Those out digging in the cold sand—mothers with toddlers in small-scale galoshes, old men of the sea with crabby expressions, out-of-towners carrying oversize buckets, one tweaker whose feet were bare but whose mind wore a protective coating of meth—took little notice of the snow.
Python hunt! To help thin the population of escaped-and-released pythons that, apparently, threaten to take over the Everglades. (Pets-gone-awry must be the most destructive category of animals on the planet—after people, of course.) It's worth clicking through for the photo alone.
"If you're in there hunting, and you see a python, you can kill it,"' Hardin said.
Hunters have used nets and snares and guns to subdue the reptiles, but all legal hunting methods are allowed, including bang sticks, harpoons and spear guns.
Wikipedia sez: aka "powerheads" (this whole story's one long double entendre) bang sticks are guns designed for firing underwater, when in direct contact with the target.
Although most commercial powerheads use standard handgun ammunition, such as .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum, the bullet has little or no effect on the killing power of the bang stick. The muzzle blast does the damage, as much high-pressure gas is forced into the flesh of the target. Blank cartridges can produce fatal wounds when fired in or near contact, and they work well in powerheads
python 1590, the fabled serpent, slain by Apollo, near Delphi, from L. Python, from Gk. Python, probably related to Pytho, the old name of Delphi, perhaps itself related to pythein "to rot." Zoological application to large non-venomous snakes of the tropics is from 1836, originally in Fr.
pythoness late 14c., "woman with the power of soothsaying," from O.Fr. phitonise (13c.), from L.L. pythonissa, used in Vulgate of the Witch of Endor (I Sam. xxviii. 7), and often treated as her proper name, lit. fem. of pytho "familiar spirit;" which ultimately is connected with the title of the prophetess of the Delphic Oracle, Gk. pythia hiereia, from Pythios, an epithet of Apollo, from Pytho, older name of the region of Delphi (see python).
According to Florida Today, Satellite Beach's Arianne Prevost killed the shit out of a 450 lb., 11 foot alligator while on a gator hunt.
It was a total archery kill," guide Peter Deeks said, adding Prevost shot the gator several times with a crossbow and finished it with a broadhead. Prevost is having the meat harvested and the gator half-mounted.
Now, I'm sorry, but this is just WRONG. There is no indication that this alligator was doing anything other than living out a long peaceful life, and for this admittedly gorgeous woman to come along and repeatedly pump multiple arrows into this thrashing humongous beast is just… just…
Captive octopuses can spray jets of water out of their tanks, hitting people and sometimes ruining lab electronics.
Earlier this year, a little one-pound octopus at the Santa Monica Aquarium spent a night spraying so much water dismantling its water valve and flooded several rooms:
The Aquarium learned the hard way that eco-friendly cork is not the ideal flooring for a saltwater aquarium housing a strong and curious little two spotted octopus. On February 26, 2009, the staff arrived and discovered a one pound two-spotted octopus in the Kid's Corner had flooded the visitor gallery and staff offices with at least 200 gallons of saltwater.
More about octopuses—including why they're not "octopi"—here.
And your daily dose of NSFW octopus porn is below the jump.
Because my reading-comprehension is poor, I misunderstood exactly how the octopus flooded the aquarium. It didn't squirt water, it tore up its water-recycling system (another popular octopus hobby). I hang my head in shame.