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The fine art of surfacing
October 12, 2010 2:17 PM   Subscribe


 
Graphics of the mine, rescue attempts and rescue capsule.

Another problem with being trapped underground for months: Wives and mistresses fighting over you.
posted by nomadicink at 2:27 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just hope everything goes well from this point forward. Their rescue has captivated the world.
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Video of the rescue capsule and other details of the operation.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 2:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Jeff Hart of Denver was in charge of the 'Plan B drill,' and was steering it when it broke through over the weekend. "We were holding our breath. We've been up for days to make sure to get this done," Hart said.* He was sought out for his expertise in drilling in this type of terrain. He's being rightly hailed as a hero in Chile.
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


ha
posted by the cuban at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jeff Hart, Drill Engineer: "Until the last guy comes up, the job's not done."
posted by ericb at 2:37 PM on October 12, 2010


I know that getting out alive is the key here, but that rescue cage gives me the heebie-jeebies. "Width of a mans shoulders", and they'll be in it, in the dark for 15 minutes (if all goes well). Good luck to everybody involved!
posted by jontyjago at 2:38 PM on October 12, 2010


Among the 33, each will have his own incredible story. This is one of them. One of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever read.
posted by wayofthedodo at 2:40 PM on October 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


"Three drills using three different technologies raced to finish a rescue shaft. This weekend it happened.

The so-called Plan B drill, an American-made Schramm T-130 water will borer, broke through to the men early Saturday.

Drill operator Jeff Hart was brought in from Afghanistan to help in the rescue effort.

Hart said the area where the mine was located is one of the toughest terrains to drill and the crews took extra care to ensure safety of both the rescuers and the miners.

'You take a more personal approach to it,' he said.

A bell announced the breakthrough to the miners' families at the makeshift camp outside the mine gates. What followed was a spontaneous celebration, but it will no doubt be dwarfed by the celebration that will follow the rescue of all 33 men."*
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The hole is going to be used a lot over that 48 hours, I hope it holds up.


Luis Urzua, the shift foreman when the mine collapsed, has been credited with leading the men and keeping them organized. He's expected to be the last one to leave.
posted by nomadicink at 2:46 PM on October 12, 2010


Godspeed to those awesome guys.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:46 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man I'm glad those miners all paid their $75 for mine rescue insurance.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:48 PM on October 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


Now we know what the mysterious "33" on the Rolling Rock bottle really stands for!
posted by chavenet at 2:51 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


they'll be in it, in the dark for 15 minutes

Reports have indicated that the capsule, 'Phoenix' has lighting.

Other details:
"[T]he men will wear [special clothing] for the ascent, shirts with their names embroidered, girdles and socks.

The miners have been given aspirin amid concerns about blood pressure changes and blood clots during the trip to the top. Today, they will only drink a high-calorie liquid specially prepared for them by NASA to avoid nausea.

... The rescue capsule leaves nothing to chance. A man riding inside will wear an oxygen mask, his heartbeat and body temperature will be monitored, and he will wear a telephone headset to talk with the rescue team above.

.. If something goes wrong during the journey to the surface, there is an escape system that allows the miner to separate the capsule so that he can be lowered back into the mine.

.. When the men reach the surface, they will have to wear sunglasses to protect their eyesight from the glare of daylight."
posted by ericb at 2:52 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]




The drillers that made it work for Layne Christensen. They drilled a 5" pilot hole 2300 feet down and then reamed it out to 26". That's pretty impressive in 33 days. Not to mention keeping it straight. Most people don't understand that these things tend to move around a bit and turn into somewhat of a noodle as the length of the drill string increases. Too much curve and that escape pod will bind.
posted by Big_B at 2:59 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luis Urzua, the shift foreman when the mine collapsed, has been credited with leading the men and keeping them organized. He's expected to be the last one to leave.

Aw, that's sweet. In seriousness, I bet he drove them batshit insane but from what I've read he kept them alive.

I'm glad you posted this; I was looking for a live feed earlier. These are men rising from the grave! How often do you see that?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


a quick, safe ascent; long lifetimes of sweet dreams. above ground.
posted by msconduct at 3:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


long lifetimes of sweet dreams..

Some of them will no doubt have problems transitioning back to normal life. They've had a very simple and focused life in a way, for the past 2 months. Coming back to regular life, with bills, relationships, day to day drudgery and now extra attention will be difficult.
posted by nomadicink at 3:14 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some of them will no doubt have problems transitioning back to normal life. They've had a very simple and focused life in a way, for the past 2 months. Coming back to regular life, with bills, relationships, day to day drudgery and now extra attention will be difficult.

They're all being given a minimum of 6 months of counseling and therapy. Apparently they've also worked out an agreement to profit share from any books, interviews, etc. The hope is that they won't have to work anymore, at least not as miners.
posted by jedicus at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


hoping in the next 24 hours our prayers will be answered.
posted by tustinrick at 3:21 PM on October 12, 2010




tune into CNN baby!!!
posted by tustinrick at 3:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Note: Rescue workers are going down before anyone comes up. First is mining rescue specialist, then a medical specialist.

That said, I really wish news agencies would stop saying the men were held in captivity for 69 days. The mine didn't kidnap them, hell it's not even alive.

The first miner out will be Florencio Avalos, 33,, followed by Mario Sepulveda, 39, the only Bolivian in the group. Here's photos of all the miners (along with brief description of their life underground, Florencio is the top right square of Group 105.
posted by nomadicink at 3:57 PM on October 12, 2010


Aw man, not here too. The media coverage here in Chile has been ridiculous, bordering on the obscene.

The sad thing is that it won't end today, it'll continue for months for these miners. There'll probably be miners in talk shows, in reality shows, news and documentaries until the media has extracted every bit of entertainment juice from them.
posted by Memo at 4:01 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am eagerly awaiting the Hollywood adaptation of the Chilean miner's ordeal, starring George Clooney, Benicio Del Toro, and Daniel Dae Kim.
posted by nomadicink at 4:05 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sociologists must be champing at the bit to study these guys. Being trapped together in such a small group for so long, they must have developed a fascinating gemeinschaft. <rimshot>

Man, that pun was beneath me. Heck, it was beneath them! <rimshot>
posted by gurple at 4:14 PM on October 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


It's going to be an anti-climax when they get to the bottom and only find Bart Simpson's walkie-talkie.

(not my joke)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:17 PM on October 12, 2010


I must have missed something. Why are so many of them listed as being "carrier pigeon handlers" in their CNN bios?
posted by morganannie at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2010


ah, right. That's code talk, like "moving to Bolivia"
posted by found missing at 4:27 PM on October 12, 2010


Why are so many of them listed as being "carrier pigeon handlers"

I think that's translation weirdness. The small packages delivered to them are called 'doves' for their size and their utility. They're all carrier pigeon handlers.

Or, I'm wrong and the mines are filled with carrier pigeons.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2010


I suppose this is the 21st century equivalent of a space mission: the focused application of technology and effort to achieve something that seems near impossible. The technical aspects of the drilling, and above all, keeping a bunch of guys sane while buried alive, 2000 ft down, for 68+ days.

(pausing for shudder - I'm a tad claustrophobic)

I've followed this story, not from a vicarious, watching a car-crash sort of interest, but from empathy with the miners and their families, and from a naive belief that international cooperation is a higher calling than international conflict. Probably costs less too.

My sincere wishes for a flawless rescue for all the guys.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


A man riding inside will wear an oxygen mask, his heartbeat and body temperature will be monitored, and he will wear a telephone headset to talk with the rescue team above.

So it won't be filled with LCL?
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2010


A big celebration afterwards, but no alcohol. They're miners.
posted by wayofthedodo at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


The news organizations seem to be crediting God for this rescue, which would annoy me were I a rescuer. He doesn't appear to be assigned any blame for the initial cave-in.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


When the men reach the surface, they will have to wear sunglasses to protect their eyesight from the glare of daylight."

And to avoid seeing their own shadow. They're leaving nothing to chance here.
posted by hal9k at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thank God for changing his mind about killing these guys.
posted by found missing at 4:35 PM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


From nomadicink's link regarding fights between wives and mistresses over compensation: "At stake are welfare packages issued to the families of the trapped miners as well as future compensation claims that could run into tens of thousands of pounds."

Tens of thousands? For fuck's sake, the least they (the mining company) could do is just take the high road and pay out to everyone who has a claim. Sure, some of these women many not be the legitimate wives of the trapped miners, but that should be outweighed by the fact that these women have families who are relying upon the miners for financial support.

You don't think these mistresses are all single, self-supporting women with no children, do you? At least some of them are certainly dependents of the miners, de facto if not de jure. We're talking five figures here. That's nothing to a transnational mining corporation. This should be a no-brainer from a PR perspective if nothing else.
posted by Scientist at 4:48 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


A car alarm just went off. Apparently this rescue is taking place in my neighbor's driveway.
posted by bondcliff at 5:17 PM on October 12, 2010



A car alarm just went off. Apparently this rescue is taking place in my neighbor's driveway.


Nope, just helping myself to this stereo to listen to the news coverage on.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:53 PM on October 12, 2010


The stories of these guys' social and psychological lives these past two months have been the most striking for me. Today, I heard that they had requested shampoo and shoe polish to be sent down so that they could clean up a little before they came up. Imagine that!
posted by Gilbert at 5:57 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looks like the had to pull the capsule back out just now. Or maybe it's just an initial test run where they lower it partially and then pull it back up to see if it works in principle...

Hard to tell what's going on.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:00 PM on October 12, 2010


I can't imagine being first, last, or in the middle... these guys need everyone's thoughts and prayers until this effort is 100% successful...

thanks for the post, I wasn't aware of the live coverage
posted by HuronBob at 6:09 PM on October 12, 2010


Or maybe it's just an initial test run where they lower it partially and then pull it back up to see if it works in principle...

Oh, they've already done that. They dropped the capsule down to just shy of the miners. They didn't let it go all the way down though, they were afraid one of them might jump in.
posted by nomadicink at 6:25 PM on October 12, 2010


I can imagine them wanting to clean up a little. The air down there must be near unbearable -- it's not like they have indoor plumbing or anything.
posted by indubitable at 6:26 PM on October 12, 2010


The tricky part is lining the hole with torches so that creepers and skeletons don't spawn in it.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:11 PM on October 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Whoops, I was wrong, they did do a test run just a little while ago.

They've getting ready to send a rescue worker down.
posted by nomadicink at 7:23 PM on October 12, 2010




Ok so now there are more people in the collapsed mine which seems like not such a great rescue.
posted by Sfving at 7:49 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


First guy on his way up!
posted by vespabelle at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2010


They're wheeling the first guy up! Such a small little hole! I can't take it!!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2010


And the kid with the balloon!!! I started crying.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


holy fuck it worked
posted by setanor at 8:13 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


ohhh, i don't know if i can keep watching. seeing the little boy greet his father...
posted by gursky at 8:13 PM on October 12, 2010


1 guy up! 32 (+rescuers) to go! I could watch this all night! Come on, they couldn't wait until US primetime? KIDDING.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:15 PM on October 12, 2010


repeat32x
posted by archivist at 8:15 PM on October 12, 2010


WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wonderful, I wish I could watch this all night. I hope the next 32 are as smooth as the first.
posted by yaymukund at 8:18 PM on October 12, 2010


¡Gracias Madre de Dios!
posted by Jikido at 8:20 PM on October 12, 2010


I can't believe how emotional this is making me. I'm totally watching the movie when it comes out.
posted by Kimberly at 8:25 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


For every miner they bring up, they must send another person down. It's like a hostage negotiation.

There goes the second one into the hole...
posted by MisterMo at 8:30 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was like, super dramatic and tense, waiting for him to come up. The camera man kept zooming in on the hole and everything. Is this real life?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:35 PM on October 12, 2010


just an amazing thing to be able to witness... from the capsule landing in the mine to the first man out hugging his son, just astonishing ... and so emotional.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:36 PM on October 12, 2010


Wow. That was intense. It's going to be difficult not to stay up all night and watch them all go up safely.
posted by umbú at 8:38 PM on October 12, 2010


Now if only Piñera can manage to stay off-camera for 5 seconds in a row...
I especially liked the extreme closeup of him praying and crossing himself.
posted by signal at 8:40 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good chance we they will still be finishing up tomorrow night at this time ... if it's about 20 minutes up and 20 minutes down, plus prepping to take off...
posted by madamjujujive at 8:42 PM on October 12, 2010


BBC is the thing to watch if you want English commentary.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:15 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Hey guys, I'm back! And I brought rocks!"

"Hooray!"
posted by dirigibleman at 9:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mario was was yelling "vamos, vamos" to the surface guys from way down in the shaft! And they were yelling something back that I didn't catch, but everybody started laughing!
posted by francesca too at 9:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This...this project is Sully Sullenberger, and Apollo 13, and United Airlines 232.

It is the story of a dangerous industry that takes safety problems seriously. (Insert ONE MILLION thanks to government regulation here)

It is the story of an industry that asks thousands upon thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians to make plans for all kinds of worst-case scenarios, and which puts these plans into action when they become necessary.

It is training for worst-case scenarios, and preparation for worst-case scenarios. And a little bit of luck. And a hell of a lot of training. And a bunch of people who are seriously dedicated to doing the best job they can possibly do, no matter what.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is so amazing!
posted by at the crossroads at 9:35 PM on October 12, 2010


wow. I was expecting them to emerge looking emaciated and half-dead, dragged from the rescue vessel ...

instead, the first guy I saw after tuning in came out looking like a rock star. Wearing sunglasses, hugged his wife, shook the hands of the rescuers, ran up to the barricade and got the whole crowd chanting and doing fist-pumps - then, he removes his hard hat and allows himself to be strapped in to a stretcher and lifted into the ambulance, but not without some thumbs-up's to the crowd.
posted by mannequito at 9:41 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Go. Go. Go.
posted by mobunited at 9:43 PM on October 12, 2010


seeing the little boy greet his father...

That's when I totally lost it. Cried like a baby.
posted by ericb at 9:49 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]




That's when I totally lost it. Cried like a baby..

Me too, man.
posted by pjern at 10:21 PM on October 12, 2010


Well, considering it is a gold mine...a nice thank you.
posted by francesca too at 10:23 PM on October 12, 2010


btw, if y'all are on twitter, i've been tweeting the livefeed (as in translating and/or providing context to what's going on). am @blogdiva :)
posted by liza at 10:36 PM on October 12, 2010


the first guy I saw after tuning in came out looking like a rock star

Seriously. How much counseling are these guys going to need? They don't seem fazed in the least about being buried alive or being rescued through a coffinlike escape capsule. The only counseling they seem like they might need is from going from hero to zero the second the fickle public attention moves on, which will be on, hmm, Friday.
posted by Camofrog at 10:40 PM on October 12, 2010


Did you notice? Two months underground, and none of them have evolved into mole people. Who's laughing at Christine O'Donnell now? Teach the controversy!
posted by planetkyoto at 10:45 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm one of the most cynical people that I know, however, I'm allowing myself to enjoy every second of this.
posted by horsemuth at 11:55 PM on October 12, 2010


4 up and out, woot!!
posted by nomadicink at 12:27 AM on October 13, 2010


5 out now! Video of first miner reaching surface!
posted by nomadicink at 12:41 AM on October 13, 2010


This is such a remarkable event: a shared real time global experience at a time in history when there is nearly world-wide access to streaming coverage, commentary, and viewer interaction — extended for what? At least 35-36 hours for the essential operation? — that isn't a horrific tragedy. Truly epic.

If there was anything to the Global Consciousness Project, this one should ping right off charts and establish it's own orbit, bending all spoons in its path and spewing double rainbows as it passes overhead. :)

Anyway, loads of tears here. Somebody pass the kleenex, plz.
posted by taz at 12:59 AM on October 13, 2010




I'm in bits. Amazing, searing stuff.

It's fascinating how the rescue operation was effected, in part, by the miners themselves - actively facilitating the drilling, clearing the debris. Must have gone a long way towards keeping them sane. In these cynical times this is a hell of testament to ingenuity and resilience in those above and below ground.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:03 AM on October 13, 2010


There's a flickr photostream which is quite nice including a Set for each of the miners.
posted by vacapinta at 2:19 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woo-hoo! 8 out, and the latest is the guy who proposed to the mother of his children while he was down there. And the way he grabbed her and hugged her when he got out of the capsule... sob.

Take THAT, Jersey Shore, Biggest Loser, Idol, etc. This is reality tv as it should be.

Taz, I'd pass you some Kleenex but I've run out. I'm now using toilet paper. I've been bawling my eyes out for the last 8 hours.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:11 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm on toilet paper too! And stocking up for Mario Gomez coming up now. At 63, he's worked in the mines since he was 12 years old. Damn.

I sure hope he's okay, and that he has a fabulous life of comfortable retirement after this. *sniff*
posted by taz at 3:57 AM on October 13, 2010


This is absolutely fascinating. I'm so happy that this is working. I can't help but think of the anguish of the Russian submariners and what a contrast this is. This is wonderful. Good things do happen. Sometimes hope is not in vain.
posted by h00py at 5:40 AM on October 13, 2010


BBC's update page says they are sending another official down in the capsule. That's what... four guys down there now? Why do they need so many down below?

I'm so happy this is going well. There were only two up when I tore myself away from the computer to go to bed. Six hours later they were up to ten out. That's even a little faster than what was predicted. May all continue to go so smoothly.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:38 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm still amazed that they can drill precisely into a chamber from 2300 feet away. I have trouble hitting a point on the other side of a 2x4 with a hand drill.
posted by echo target at 7:01 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


... these guys need everyone's thoughts and prayers until this effort is 100% successful...
Nah, just good engineering. (which is what they whipped up)
posted by MrMulan at 7:34 AM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whoah. I was curious why so many of the miners seemed to be expressing anger about the psychologist(s), and came upon this article.

The mental-health experts overground used a system of ‘prizes and punishments’ to try to control the men’s behaviour - for their own good, of course. So when the men assented to hour-long phone calls with the mental-health team, as they did when they were first found to be alive 17 days after getting trapped, they were rewarded with prizes such as access to TV shows. But when they refused to talk to the psychologists, as they started to do in mid-September when their health and body weight were improving as a result of sent-down food and they insisted that ‘we are well’, the psychology team would deprive them of luxuries. As one on-site doctor put it: ‘We have to say, “OK, you don’t want to speak with psychologists? Perfect. That day you get no TV, there is no music - because we administer these things.”’

and

But the thing that really tore the miners and their mental-health betters apart - the thing that ensured ‘the honeymoon was over’, as the lead on-site psychologist put it - was the psychology team’s ‘widespread censorship’ of family letters to the men. Early on, every time a family member wrote a letter it had to be submitted for psychological evaluation first, before being sent down the so-called umbilical cord to the men underground, so that any material judged ‘psychologically inappropriate’ could be removed. There was uproar when the families discovered that there was a backlog of letters waiting to be okayed. One of the miners had asked his wife during a video link-up: ‘Why don’t you write to me anymore?’ In fact she had been writing everyday, but her letters were awaiting ‘psychological approval’. Eventually government officials stepped in and ended the vetting of the letters.

If this information is accurate, I'm absolutely boggled.
posted by taz at 7:59 AM on October 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


If this information is accurate, I'm absolutely boggled.

Yeah, it's this sort of stuff that's really going to come out now.

I can't believe the psychologist were trying to do reward and punishment like that. Were I one of the miners, I'd want to beat the crap out of them as soon as I was above ground.
posted by nomadicink at 8:14 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


So that's what Phil Zimbardo is up to these days...
posted by entropicamericana at 8:27 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was up til 3 in the morning watching BBC's live feed and I've been trying to catch it at work too, when I have a free moment. My heart is bursting with joy. This whole rescue has been una mezcla hermosa of the power of human ingenuity and the power of the human spirit. I amazed that they found the miners and were able to rescue them relatively quickly and I'm amazed that the miners were able to stay in relatively good spirits for so long. They were trapped without contact for 17 days! I probably would've started trying to off myself around day 5. They are so brave and so courageous! Tough as balls! Viva Chile! Viva los mineros!
posted by chara at 8:44 AM on October 13, 2010


The Big Picture.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:49 AM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


At 36 hours plus, I can only imagine that the last few out are going to have a harder time with the rescue than the 69 days leading up to it. Anticipation. Colleagues ascending in slow motion.

Godspeed and hooray for precise engineering.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 8:50 AM on October 13, 2010


If this information is accurate, I'm absolutely boggled.

Ditto. In reading that article it appears that the miners found ways to cope on their own. Did they really need the guidance of "experts?"
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on October 13, 2010


Yay for things going well, was worried they might suffer from the bends as they came up.

16 out now!
posted by nomadicink at 9:00 AM on October 13, 2010


The Big Picture.

God damn these fall allergies.
posted by ericb at 9:06 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoah. I was curious why so many of the miners seemed to be expressing anger about the psychologist(s), and came upon this article.

While the psychiatrists' actions seem egregious, that article just looks like a hit piece on the concept of psychology. I mean, he references Fox News twice, and one of the related articles is about how PTSD is a made-up disorder. I'd like to see something a little less ax-grindy before I get my outrage on.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:15 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right. Some of the stuff the article tries to paint in a horrible light makes some sense. What if somebody tries to send a guy a letter, "I know I'm your wife, but I don't love you, never have, go ahead and kill yourself, p.s. I'm sleeping with your brother". I think it makes sense to have someone reviewing the letters and weeding out anything severely upsetting. Not that that excuses a huge backlog in getting the letters down to the miners.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:23 AM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Anyone catch a good look at what is one the front and back of the t-shirts the miners are wearing? Translation?
posted by grabbingsand at 9:39 AM on October 13, 2010


grabbingsand: "Anyone catch a good look at what is one the front and back of the t-shirts the miners are wearing? Translation"

Front: Gracias Señor. Thank you Lord
Back: Name and Psalm 95:4 - “In his hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to him.”
posted by Memo at 10:11 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The front of the shirts translate as "Thank you Lord!"
posted by thewittyname at 10:11 AM on October 13, 2010


The exhuberant Mr. Sepulveda has been variously translated as saying:

"I was with the devil. I was with God. They fought, and God won. I grabbed the hand of God."
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:12 AM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Here's a camera view from inside the tunnel (brief commercial first), either on top or bottom of the rescue capsule.
posted by nomadicink at 10:14 AM on October 13, 2010


Regarding the psychologists: I read somewhere, I think, that they did the tv-withholding sort of thing to become a common target of frustration between the miners as a way of preventing the miners from becoming frustrated with each other.

I can't seem to find that information now, though, so.
posted by troika at 10:25 AM on October 13, 2010


I read somewhere, I think, that they did the tv-withholding sort of thing to become a common target of frustration between the miners as a way of preventing the miners from becoming frustrated with each other.

Oh, that makes sense then, makes them band together against a common unfair enemy, as opposed to the one of them.
posted by nomadicink at 10:36 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm waiting for Yonni Barrios to come up. He's the one who is going to have to face his mistress and the angry wife who just found out about her. I bet he's last.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:49 AM on October 13, 2010


Do the green shirts have any significance? I'm guessing no but I would be interested to hear if they have some special scientific powers or something.
posted by morganannie at 10:53 AM on October 13, 2010


Green hides the miners from the telepathic scans of the arachnid like Mole People, who hunger for human pets knows no limits.
posted by nomadicink at 11:10 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the BBC

Euselia Cabezas, mother of Esteban Rojas, said the moment when she was about to see him on TV "was terrible, like a birth but worse than the first one."
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:15 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm waiting for Yonni Barrios to come up. He's the one who is going to have to face his mistress and the angry wife who just found out about her.

His wife is pissed, and isn't showing up.

Too bad -- could have been a real Jerry or Maury moment.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2010


morganannie: "Do the green shirts have any significance? I'm guessing no but I would be interested to hear if they have some special scientific powers or something"

I can't find a link in English, but here's an article of a national newspaper describing the suits: They are waterproof, moisture wicking and have five reflective patches. The undershirt is anti-fungal.
posted by Memo at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2010


Yes, now that Estaban Rojas has come up I see that it is a full jumpsuit.

So nice to know that they have all their bases covered. I'm so relieved that the rescue has gone so smoothly.
posted by morganannie at 11:33 AM on October 13, 2010


The Chilean Minister for Mines looks TOO MUCH like Desmond from Lost. It is freaking me out.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:02 PM on October 13, 2010


No wonder it's going so well.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:16 PM on October 13, 2010


This newspaper front page captures the best moment for me so far; Mario Sepulveda just so ecstatic to be out and in such high spirits.

FWIW, rough translations of the three stories:
Mario Sepulveda comes up with rocks as presents and... *
Bairon, the young child who cried for his returning papa. (Bairon is the son of the first miner up.)
Sougarret breaks down in tears (Sougarret is the chief of the rescue operation.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:12 PM on October 13, 2010


Homeboy Trouble: "Mario Sepulveda comes up with rocks as presents and... *"

* and an arsenal of jokes.
posted by Memo at 1:22 PM on October 13, 2010


Yonni is out of the mine, still in the doghouse.

So he either has to go home to an angry wife, or with the mistress who's thrilled to see him. Decisions, decisions...
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:25 PM on October 13, 2010


Can we get Yonni an AskMe account?
posted by nomadicink at 1:30 PM on October 13, 2010


Can we get Yonni an AskMe account?

Better yet, his wife.

ANSWER: DTMFA.
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on October 13, 2010


It looks like she already did! Dude was just pulled out of the ground and she didn't show up. If it wasn't already dead, surely that killed it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:37 PM on October 13, 2010


Actually, Yonni needed an AskMe account before asking both his mistress and wife to be there when he came out of the ground. His wife was going to be there, until she found out the mistress was going to be there also. The wife doesn't sound like she needs anyone's advice, good on her.
posted by nomadicink at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2010


Idunno -- Yonni's kinda my hero at the moment.

Everyone who was down there had problems, sure, but Yonni had problems.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2010


I've been in tears off and on since last night, watching this unfold. So amazing that the entire world is watching. But really I just wanted to encourage everyone to read the ESPN article about Franklin Lobos that wayofthedodo linked earlier. What a fantastic article, and what a story.
posted by gemmy at 2:09 PM on October 13, 2010


As fame and scrutiny follow each man, soap opera-type sub-plots are likely to emerge. Before he even emerged one miner tried to seduce the nurse who spoke to him daily on a phone line.

"He was asking to go out with me, then he started talking about how he likes to make love. I began to blush," said the nurse, who asked not to be named because the married miner still has a crush on her. "I went home and told my husband: 'What do I do? One of the miners is falling in love with me.'"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/13/chilean-miners-rescue-world-rejoices
posted by Catfry at 2:10 PM on October 13, 2010


Foreman: "Men, we've been down here a long time. And I know that some of you are starting to lose hope."

Men: [assorted protestations]

Foreman: "No, no -- it's understandable. We're stuck down here, the rescue is taking some time, and while this experience has forged a bond in us that can never be broken, well, truth be told, we're getting a little sick of each other's faces by now. Dark as it is."

Men: [more protestations]

Foreman: "And yes, we're all smelly and gross and hungry and dying for a smoke. And yes, we're all missing our loved ones... right Yonni?"

Men: [laughs, snickering]

Foreman: "And yes, it's only natural that after so long, we start to lose hope. We focus on our troubles. Our troubles are right in our faces! How can we not think about them? But men -- I say to you this -- as great as our problems are, as insurmountable as our troubles may seem, at least you're not Yonni. Cause man o man -- Yonni's in real shit."

Men: [applause]

Foreman: "So do not think of your own burden, heavy as it is. Remind yourself -- at least you're not Yonni. (Except for Yonni. Sorry, man.) So let's think of our wives and children and bright sunshine and fresh air, and look forward to better days ahead!"

Men: "Hooray!"

Foreman: "Except for Yonni, who's probably better off here. Tough break, man. Maybe you can at least keep one of them. Think positive."

posted by Capt. Renault at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regarding the psychologists: I read somewhere, I think, that they did the tv-withholding sort of thing to become a common target of frustration between the miners as a way of preventing the miners from becoming frustrated with each other.

Yeah, a similar thought appears at the end of this article:

Despite rising tensions, the medical and psychological team is content, and they have received glowing reviews from the team of NASA psychologists. Furthermore, many of the symptoms now being shown by the miners are typical of group dynamics when people are placed in confined and stressful environments for more than six weeks.

''NASA told us we have to receive the arrows, so that they don't start shooting the arrows at each other,'' said Dr Diaz. ''So we are putting our chests forward - now they can target the doctors and psychologists.''


I kind of share a lot of the bias of the Spiked piece, especially with regard to the letters being withheld, but that the author doesn't even mention at least one plausible reason for the psychologists' control speaks loudly about what he's trying to do.
posted by mediareport at 2:31 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Franklin Lobos is on the way up, his teenage daughter is waiting for him... and the suspense is killing me.

Time to re-stock the toilet-paper-in-lieu-of-Kleenex. Again. The only reunion that didn't make me dissolve was Yonni's. I don't know what that says about me.

Probably that I dislike cheaters.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:14 PM on October 13, 2010


Oh that's his daughter? I figured it was his girlfriend! That's what I get for not knowing Spanish.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:21 PM on October 13, 2010


He's the 27th out. Oh, man.
posted by maudlin at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2010


I've been losing my shit all day watching at work. Even with Yonni's reunion - he may be a cheater, but we'll never quite know what it was like to be down there so long.

I think the sweetest thing was the signed football (soccer ball to us Americans!) they just gave to Lobos.

At this rate, they'll have everyone, including the rescuers, out of the cavern in under 24 hours.
posted by Jim T at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2010


Regarding Yonni Barrios; his cousin Humberto Flores Barrios lives in Norway and has been interviewed by Norwegian broadcaster NRK (Google translation here). Humberto Flores Barrios says that Yonni Barrios has not lived with his wife for years, and that this situation is not uncommon in Chile, because it's difficult and expensive to get a divorce. Humberto Flores Barrios also says that he's certain that Yonni Barrios will choose the mistress, not his wife.
posted by iviken at 3:38 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it just me or did Yonni seem not all that excited to see the woman who met him?
posted by morganannie at 4:04 PM on October 13, 2010


How many rescue workers went down there? Heard two were headed down, but only recall seeing one.
posted by nomadicink at 4:39 PM on October 13, 2010


Two
posted by found missing at 4:44 PM on October 13, 2010


BBC said two were down there and will come up last.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:44 PM on October 13, 2010


Well, two isn't correct. On the mine cam you can see a whole crowd of people still down there along with the three remaining miners.
posted by found missing at 4:51 PM on October 13, 2010


BBC has been talking about two for a long time but they were definitely wrong 'cause I saw a third go down after the third miner had been rescued. I think two rescuers were the 'official' published plan, but then it was modified to send 4 or five down instead. Still not sure how many.
posted by Catfry at 4:54 PM on October 13, 2010


there are six rescue workers. the last one to go in will be the last one out of the mine.
posted by liza at 4:56 PM on October 13, 2010


Four 'temps', apparently. According to the coverage I'm watching, there's one mining engineer (who was the first to go down, and he must have balls the size of the planet) and three paramedics.

And no, morganannie, it's not just you. Yonni appeared to be rather disinterested in greeting her. Not a whole lot of affection or emotion going on there (on his behalf, anyway).
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:56 PM on October 13, 2010


How many rescue workers went down there? Heard two were headed down, but only recall seeing one.

NYT:
"As of early afternoon, there were five rescue workers currently down in the mine, and a sixth rescue worker would go down “in a few hours” to replace some of the other workers, Mr. [Laurence] Golborne [, Chilean Mining Minister] said."
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on October 13, 2010


Okay ... watching live ... the little girl is awaiting a reunion with her father. Get ready for the tissues!
posted by ericb at 5:04 PM on October 13, 2010


And she released balloons!
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on October 13, 2010


31 down, 2 to go.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:19 PM on October 13, 2010


Don't you mean 31 UP, 2 to go, nooneyouknow?

Yep, ericb is right, there are apparently 5 rescue workers underground now.

And I have to say the wife of the Chilean President has been magnificent. Talking to the (obviously overwhelmed) kids and younger siblings, hugging the wives and sisters and mothers for as long as they needed to be hugged. I think she's a sweetheart. And the Mining Minister appears to be as happy as any family member to greet the miners.

Second last miner is on the way... the one whose daughter was born while he was underground.

I look like a frog. Crying doesn't agree with my complexion. Thankfully it's almost over. For everyone.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:24 PM on October 13, 2010


I liked when the little girl was handout out the balloons to a number of the rescue workers, including mining minister Laurence Golborne. Kept thinking "Oh, there's Desmond Hume, standing alone, smiling, and holding a balloon."
posted by raztaj at 5:27 PM on October 13, 2010


Don't you mean 31 UP, 2 to go, nooneyouknow?

Of course. Number 32 is out, one more to go. I really should do something about those allergies.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:32 PM on October 13, 2010


OMG, I am so geeked. They just put the last miner, the foreman, in the capsule and sent it up.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:46 PM on October 13, 2010


CHI CHI CHI
posted by Brittanie at 5:47 PM on October 13, 2010


Love the video of the rescue workers embracing as the 33rd, and last, miner is sent up.

Also, The 33rd Miner would be a great title for a TV movie.
posted by lalex at 5:49 PM on October 13, 2010


Hee. BBC reporter just credited Luis Urzua with preventing civil disobedience from breaking out among the miners.
posted by torticat at 5:49 PM on October 13, 2010


Luis Urzua just seems like a natural leader from the description. Just listening to the rescue workers singing as he arrives at the surface must be cheering. Amazing.
posted by gemmy at 5:52 PM on October 13, 2010


It's like Glee; they just broke out in song.
posted by found missing at 6:02 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


My goosebumps have goosebumps right now.
posted by deadmessenger at 6:02 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, they're all singing the Chilean national anthem together. I just lost it.
posted by Brittanie at 6:02 PM on October 13, 2010


Can't they let the poor man chill out before parading him as a patriotic hero!!!
posted by freya_lamb at 6:02 PM on October 13, 2010


Ok, how soon until they change the site into a theme park?
posted by nomadicink at 6:04 PM on October 13, 2010


I'm not sure I'd be up for the main ride...
posted by freya_lamb at 6:05 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nice work : )
posted by Feisty at 6:06 PM on October 13, 2010


I would totally work for Urzua!
posted by francesca too at 6:07 PM on October 13, 2010


I can't believe they got them all. Just a few paramedics, and done! Incredible!
posted by nevercalm at 6:13 PM on October 13, 2010


the rescue team have hand-made banner that says "MISIÓN CUMPLIDA CHILE" (Mission Accomplished Chile)
posted by liza at 6:22 PM on October 13, 2010


blogrunner has this link

YAAAA
posted by clavdivs at 6:26 PM on October 13, 2010


Watching the last one out in RT, I was struck by the realityshowishness of the camera work, the lighting, script, etc.
This just serves to heighten my already fairly strong feeling of inhabiting some post-structuralist theory textbook.
Home is where the hyper-reality is.
posted by signal at 6:32 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


NASA kicks ass!

Also, hope they get the giddyup on getting the rescue workers out.
posted by jeoc at 6:35 PM on October 13, 2010


they deserve a brass band
posted by clavdivs at 6:36 PM on October 13, 2010


I was struck by the realityshowishness of the camera work

They definitely got better at it as the rescue wore on; they added the tunnel camera and the moving slider for the capsule relatively late in the game.
posted by mediareport at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2010


One guy left down there now. That must feel strange.
posted by found missing at 7:57 PM on October 13, 2010


Last man out forgot to turn the lights off.
posted by francesca too at 8:22 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


> One guy left down there now. That must feel strange.

I wonder what he is thinking, what he is feeling.

Like the first man who was brought up, late last night - and tore open the world's attention to the 33 miners' rescue, this last rescuer brings this riveting story to a close.

May his exit be peaceful and without incident like the one of all the men before him.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:34 PM on October 13, 2010


He's up. The whole thing is over.
posted by found missing at 8:35 PM on October 13, 2010


Oh, wait! President Piñera got drunk and fell down the hole!
posted by found missing at 8:36 PM on October 13, 2010


I'd like to try to make up for that last comment by linking to the Chilean mining ministry's Flickr gallery of the rescues.
posted by found missing at 8:47 PM on October 13, 2010


To quote setanor, "holy fuck, it worked!"
posted by Gilbert at 8:51 PM on October 13, 2010


Congratulations everybody! Yes, that includes you. I have neglected my work over the past two days and now I am in danger of disciplinary action, but suddenly everything seems so trivial that disciplinary action is no longer the big scary boogieman that it once was.

Now that everyone's safe (and well? Time will tell...): what struck me towards the end ( because I'm easily spooked) is how easy for elation to turn to genuine horror. Not stupid slasher Hollywood horror, but horror in its purest form, the real kind. Various scenarios:

- As the final rescue worker leaves the cavern, and Fenix slowly disappears up the exit tunnel, the only person left underground, the caverncam is left on. Silence. Seconds pass. A dark shape suddenly appears from the right and moves quickly towards the camera, obscuring the view.

- As the penultimate rescue worker is winched to safety, the final rescue worker is left alone - a burning, yawning loneliness, surrounded by emptiness, darkness, solid rock. He waits. The sound of the winch fades. Then silence. Still waiting. Heart pounding. Then, from the darkness, the black emptiness, in the direction of further down the tunnels away from the rockfall, a slow shuffling is heard. Ponderous, heavy shuffling.

- As the penultimate rescue worker is winched to safety, the final rescue worker is left alone - a burning, yawning loneliness, surrounded by emptiness, darkness, solid rock. He waits. The sound of the winch fades. Then silence. Half a mile above, on the surface, rejoicing - all the miners are safe! Praise be to God, a miracle! Chile the magnificent! Our brothers have returned to us! Families reunited, the crowds slowly disperse. TV crews power down and pack up. The presidential cavalcade is long gone. Engineers dismantle the rigging. Miners, exhausted but triumphant, are helicoptered to the nearest city for monitoring and treatment. The floodlights are turned off. Power to the repair shop is cut, the lights die and the cavern is blackness once more. The Atacama is barren and empty. The final rescue worker, forgotten and alone, waits.

- The final rescue worker is winched to the surface. As Fenix approaches ground zero, the buzzer sounds. The surface workers cheer, burst into song - Chi - le! Chi - le! The nightmare is almost over! Mother of miracles, our sons have returned to earth! The jockey wheel is removed as the top of Fenix, its yellow spines like a victory crown, pokes into view above the iron sleeve. But in the scrappling to line up the exit, a slip, a tear, a snap! Grasping and grabbing and shouting and slipping and panic as the cables snaps upwards, untentioned and wild, and Fenix is severed, falling, falling into the darkness.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 10:09 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Next stop.

The Moon.

Who's up?
posted by at the crossroads at 10:28 PM on October 13, 2010


The Moon.

Who's up?


Digging to the moon? I'm in!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:43 PM on October 13, 2010


>The final rescue worker, forgotten and alone, waits.

I am certain that he felt this, the moment the penultimate rescue worker disappeared inside his Fenix rocket. Alone for the next planned 20 minutes..... and maybe alone for much, much longer.

Takes nerves of steel.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:49 PM on October 13, 2010


Digging to the moon? I'm in!

Grab a shovel.
posted by at the crossroads at 11:21 PM on October 13, 2010


Takes nerves of steel.

Seriously. I'm sorry I missed the last guy out, though just barely (stupid sleep requirements!), as well as the last miner out, but I'm happy they were that much ahead of the projected schedule. They had 10 miners to go when I went to bed last night, plus the rescue workers, so they were really fast! I think I slept 6-7 hours.
posted by taz at 12:13 AM on October 14, 2010


So, uh. Now that everyone's out, what are they going to do with the mine?

'Cuz I got a pickax and I need some redstone...
posted by dirigibleman at 12:40 AM on October 14, 2010


Now that it's over and with such a happy ending, I can safely say that I wished at the end the last guy had been shot out that little straw and into the air, to come down with a parachute in a shower of fireworks.
posted by chavenet at 1:59 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


You've won this round humans. But the Mole People never forget!
posted by nomadicink at 2:11 AM on October 14, 2010


Stay classy Wall Street Journal: Capitalism Saved the Miners
posted by thewittyname at 6:48 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The final rescue worker, forgotten and alone, waits

No, he was chatting away on the phone with the surface crew and the penultimo rescatista.
posted by francesca too at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2010


How did miners stay so fit?
posted by maudlin at 9:29 PM on October 14, 2010


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