Reviled, pit bulls have become representative. There is no other dog that figures as often in the national narrative—no other dog as vilified on the evening news, no other dog as defended on television programs, no other dog as mythologized by both its enemies and its advocates, no other dog as discriminated against, no other dog as wantonly bred, no other dog as frequently abused, no other dog as promiscuously abandoned, no other dog as likely to end up in an animal shelter, no other dog as likely to be rescued, no other dog as likely to be killed. In a way, the pit bull has become the only American dog, because it is the only American dog that has become an American metaphor—and the only American dog that people bother to name.
posted by latkes
on Jul 15, 2014 -
"The divers had already pulled up four bodies. So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse." Harrison Odjegba Okene survived three days of darkness and isolation when he was trapped in a sunken tugboat, breathing from an air bubble and listening to the sounds of his shipmates being eaten by fish. His amazing rescue hit the news this spring. (Previously
.) The actual video of his rescue has now been widely distributed. Short version. Long version
, with an appropriate but inappropriate piece of jaunty music at the end.
posted by maudlin
on Dec 4, 2013 -
"[...] in the next scene, she is wearing a pair of crocheted leggings, which allow her deformed limbs to slide smoothly across the wood floor. She moves easily
, as though she doesn't know there's anything wrong with her legs at all."
posted by batmonkey
on May 6, 2013 -
The Jumper Squad.
"Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
posted by zarq
on Oct 9, 2012 -
Five months ago, she vowed to find him.
It wasn’t the RCMP who could help, or even a Canadian. Instead, Ms. Smith turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, an Idaho couple who zig-zag North America in their 32-foot motor home, helping recover bodies from lakes and rivers when authorities can’t, or won’t. They don't get paid, and in some years rack up nearly 50,000 kilometres. They do it simply because people ask.
posted by emcat8
on Jul 29, 2012 -
GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House. On the third day after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Nine miles out at sea, a man had been found alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 13, 2011 -
A group of five friends out boating on the Sea of Cortez discovered a young humpback whale
entangled in fishing net and possibly near death. After about an hour of hard work they were able to free the whale, who proceeded to put on an amazing show for her rescuers. [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jul 14, 2011 -
Libya: Six injured as US team botches rescue of downed airmen.
'US forces sent into Libya to rescue two downed American airmen botched the mission by shooting and wounding friendly villagers who had come to help, witnesses have said. Libyans who went to investigate the US warplane's crash site said that a US helicopter had come in with guns firing, creating panic and wounding onlookers, some of whom had to be taken to hospital; one 20-year-old man is expected to have his leg amputated.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 22, 2011 -
You didn't much like Raptorize
and were hoping for something about real raptors (not F-22 fighters), therefore I am pleased to give you the goods on Birds of Prey
. Raptors are birds that hunt
(or scavenge) for meat, not plant life, and share several physical traits
(although they can vary in size from miniature
(pygmy) owls to Andean condors
), among the largest birds of prey in the United States
), secretary birds
) and vultures
) are all raptors; all have hooked beaks, fantastic
and sharp talons
. The word raptor comes from the Latin rapere
(to seize), apt description
of their hunting style
. Raptor breeders
abound, as do raptor associations (quite a list at the Global Raptor Information Network
injured raptors back to health; you can Adopt-a-Bird
, and even donate regularly to help the birds via your very own Raptor Center Credit Card
. Failing that, you can always help
more about conservation
of these magnificent
and beautiful creatures
. And if you are super keen, you can attend the
Winter Raptor Fest 2011
. [more inside]
posted by bwg
on Dec 14, 2010 -
...and there was just rope everywhere--it went around the whales mouth, around the whale's head, across her eye, over her back wrapped around the pectoral fins, all the way down to its tail. I thought there was no hope, there was no chance, we're looking at a dead whale, the whale just doesn't know it yet--but I knew that I had to try. ...It was a very surreal moment looking down and seeing the 20 crab traps and buoys just disappear into the abyss... And just like that, the whale was gone. ...I'm spinning around, where'd she go, where'd she go ? ...Now here's where the story takes a pretty startling turn. ...Next thing I know there's this fifty ton whale coming right at me...
From about 4:00 to 14:30 in nearly 23 minutes of the segment, Animal Blessings
here, all 20 megs of it. Or you can try the podcast at RadioLab: Animal Minds
. Either way, you are in for a most truly awesome anecdote. And listen to the whole program to have some back and forth science dropped on you in regards to what we think we know about what and how animals think. [more inside]
posted by y2karl
on May 26, 2010 -
Not for want of a glove: first person video of a skier buried, then rescued from an avalanche. He also got very lucky to be honest. In the time that he's buried, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air since the avalung wasn't fully in his mouth and instead just to the corner of his mouth.
Avalanche at 1:19. Blue sky and view of the rescuers starts at 6:07.
posted by maudlin
on Sep 27, 2009 -
Tigers and leopards and pumpkins, oh my!
(Metacafe video, will autoplay on page load). So your little kittycat loves cantaloupe, eh? Then you should see how these rescued big cats descend upon the leftover Halloween pumpkins and assorted gourds distributed to them each year. (via
posted by maudlin
on May 11, 2009 -
"Girl, he died a hero with tons of people loving him."
A jack-of-all-trades worker from Florida came to Houston to help clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, and was killed
while trying to save three dogs on a freeway. At first, it seemed the man, while praised as a local hero
, and receiving tons of support in death from animal lovers, would remain an unknown loner
in death as he had been in life. Then a Google search and an exchange of e-mails led one Houston woman to the man's daughter, living in Pittsburgh. The young woman had been searching for her father for thirteen years.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Oct 8, 2008 -